Esophageal temperature probe

Last revised by Pir Abdul Ahad Aziz Qureshi on 13 Dec 2021

Esophageal temperature probes are used to monitor core body temperatures in patients receiving anesthesia. The probe is advanced either through the nasal passage or oral cavity, before following a similar path to a nasogastric tube.

Clinically significant changes in core body temperature that may be:

  • anticipated 1
  • suspected 1
  • intended 1

A correctly placed esophageal temperature probe should:

  • descend the midline, following the esophageal path and avoiding the contours of the bronchi
  • clearly bisect the carina or bronchi
  • have its tip
    • in the lower third of the esophageal tract 3
    • at the mid-level of the heart

Malpositioning may include tip position:

  • traversing either bronchus or more distally into the lung
  • coiling in the upper airway

Given that the linear radiopaque marker on a temperature probe may at times be of similar thickness to a nasogastric tube, care must be taken to ensure the devices are not mistaken for each other.

  • kinking

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: esophageal temperature probe in-situ
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: esophageal temperature probe in-situ (labeled)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: temperature probe in-situ
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: esophageal temperature probe in lung
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4
    Drag here to reorder.