The invention provides a method and device for selectively controlling the temperature of a selected organ of a patient for performance of a specified application. The method includes introducing a guide catheter into a blood vessel. The guide catheter may have a soft tip and a retaining flange, and may be used to provide treatments such as administration of thrombolytic drug therapies, stenting procedures, angiographic procedures, etc. A supply tube is provided having a heat transfer element attached to a distal end thereof. The heat transfer element having a plurality of exterior surface irregularities, these surface irregularities having a depth greater than the boundary layer thickness of flow in the feeding artery of the selected organ. The supply tube and heat transfer element may be inserted through the guide catheter to place the heat transfer element in the feeding artery of the selected organ. Turbulence is created around the surface irregularities at a distance from the heat transfer element greater than the boundary layer thickness of flow in the feeding artery, thereby creating turbulence throughout the blood flow in the feeding artery. A working fluid is circulated into the heat transfer element via the supply tube and via an internal lumen of the heat transfer element. The fluid may be circulated out of the heat transfer element via an external lumen of the heat transfer element and through the guide catheter. Heat is thereby transferred between the heat transfer element and the blood in the feeding artery to selectively control the temperature of the selected organ during or soon before or after the specified application.