Skorupski, A. M., Zhang, J., Ferguson, D. et al. 2017. Quantification of induced hypothermia from aseptic scrub applications during rodent surgery preparation. JAALAS 56(5), 562-569.
Laboratory mice (Mus musculus) are prone to develop hypothermia during anesthesia for surgery, thus potentially impeding anesthetic recovery, wound healing, and future health. The core body temperatures of isoflurane-anesthetized mice are influenced by the choice of supplemental heat sources; however, the contribution of various surgical scrubs on the body temperatures of mice under gas anesthesia has not been assessed. We sought to quantify the effect of using alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol [IPA]) compared with saline to rinse away surgical scrub on the progression of hypothermia in anesthetized mice (n = 47). IPA, room-temperature saline, or warmed saline (37 °C) was combined with povidone–iodine and then assessed for effects on core (rectal) and surface (infrared) temperatures. Agents were applied to a 2×2-cm shaved abdominal area of mice maintained on a water-recirculating blanket (at 38 °C) under isoflurane anesthesia (1.5% to 2.0% at 0.6 L/min) for 30 min. Although all scrub regimens significantly decreased body temperature at the time of application, treatments that included povidone–iodine led to the coldest core temperatures, which persisted while mice were anesthetized. Compared with room-temperature saline and when combined with povidone–iodine, warming of saline did not ameliorate heat loss. IPA alone demonstrated the most dramatic cooling of both surface and core readings at application but generated an unanticipated warming (rebound) phase during which body temperatures equilibrated with those of controls within minutes of application. Although alcohol is inappropriate as a stand-alone agent for surgical skin preparation, IPA is a viable alternative to saline-based rinses in this context, and its use should be encouraged within institutional guidance for rodent surgical procedures without concern for prolonged hypothermia in mice.