Cooling the scalp during administration of chemotherapy can prevent hair loss. It reduces both skin blood flow and hair follicle temperature, thus affecting drug supply and drug effect in the hair follicle. The extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the hair preservative effect of scalp cooling remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to establish a relationship between local scalp skin temperature and cutaneous blood flow during scalp cooling. We measured skin temperature and cutaneous perfusion during a cooling and re-warming experiment. Experiments on a single subject showed that the measurements were reproducible and that the response was identical for the two positions that were measured. Inter-subject variability was investigated on nine subjects. We found that for the first 10 °C of cooling, perfusion of the scalp skin decreases to below 40%. Perfusion can be further reduced to below 30% by a few degrees more cooling, but a plateau is reached after that. We found that a generally accepted relation in thermal physiology between temperature and perfusion (i.e. Q10 relation) does not describe the data well, but we found an alternative relation that describes the average behavior significantly better.
Janssen, F-P. E. M., Rajan, V., Steenbergen, W., van Leeuwen, G. M. J., & van Steenhoven, A. A. (2007). The relationship between local scalp skin temperature and cutaneous perfusion during scalp cooling. Physiological measurement, 28(8), 829-839. https://doi.org/10.1088/0967-3334/28/8/006