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Keywords:

  • brain temperature;
  • hypothermia;
  • monitoring;
  • noninvasive;
  • radiation balance;
  • radiometry

[1] Clinical trials of hypothermic brain treatment for newborn babies are currently hindered by the difficulty in measuring deep brain temperatures. As one of the possible methods for noninvasive and continuous temperature monitoring that is completely passive and inherently safe is passive microwave radiometry (MWR). We have developed a five-band microwave radiometer system with a single dual-polarized, rectangular waveguide antenna operating within the 1–4 GHz range and a method for retrieving the temperature profile from five radiometric brightness temperatures. This paper addresses (1) the temperature calibration for five microwave receivers, (2) the measurement experiment using a phantom model that mimics the temperature profile in a newborn baby, and (3) the feasibility for noninvasive monitoring of deep brain temperatures. Temperature resolutions were 0.103, 0.129, 0.138, 0.105 and 0.111 K for 1.2, 1.65, 2.3, 3.0 and 3.6 GHz receivers, respectively. The precision of temperature estimation (2σ confidence interval) was about 0.7°C at a 5-cm depth from the phantom surface. Accuracy, which is the difference between the estimated temperature using this system and the measured temperature by a thermocouple at a depth of 5 cm, was about 2°C. The current result is not satisfactory for clinical application because the clinical requirement for accuracy must be better than 1°C for both precision and accuracy at a depth of 5 cm. Since a couple of possible causes for this inaccuracy have been identified, we believe that the system can take a step closer to the clinical application of MWR for hypothermic rescue treatment.