Temperature Management After Cardiac Arrest

Nielsen N, Wetterslev J, Cronberg T, et al.; TTM Trial Investigators. Targeted temperature management at 33°C versus 36°C after cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec 5;369(23):2197-206. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1310519. Epub 2013 Nov 17. PMID: 24237006.

Results: In total, 939 patients were included in the primary analysis. At the end of the trial, 50% of the patients in the 33°C group (235 of 473 patients) had died, as compared with 48% of the patients in the 36°C group (225 of 466 patients) (hazard ratio with a temperature of 33°C, 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89 to 1.28; P=0.51). At the 180-day follow-up, 54% of the patients in the 33°C group had died or had poor neurologic function according to the CPC, as compared with 52% of patients in the 36°C group (risk ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.16; P=0.78). In the analysis using the modified Rankin scale, the comparable rate was 52% in both groups (risk ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.14; P=0.87). The results of analyses adjusted for known prognostic factors were similar.

Conclusions: In unconscious survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac cause, hypothermia at a targeted temperature of 33°C did not confer a benefit as compared with a targeted temperature of 36°C. (Funded by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and others; TTM ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01020916.).


Donnino MW, Andersen LW, Berg KM, Reynolds JC, Nolan JP, Morley PT, Lang E, Cocchi MN, Xanthos T, Callaway CW, Soar J; ILCOR ALS Task Force. Temperature Management After Cardiac Arrest: An Advisory Statement by the Advanced Life Support Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation. Circulation. 2015 Dec 22;132(25):2448-56. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000313. Epub 2015 Oct 4. Erratum in: Circulation. 2016 Jan 5;133(1):e13. PMID: 26434495.

Abstract: For more than a decade, mild induced hypothermia (32 °C-34 °C) has been standard of care for patients remaining comatose after resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with an initial shockable rhythm, and this has been extrapolated to survivors of cardiac arrest with initially nonshockable rhythms and to patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest. Two randomized trials published in 2002 reported a survival and neurological benefit with mild induced hypothermia. One recent randomized trial reported similar outcomes in patients treated with targeted temperature management at either 33 °C or 36 °C. In response to these new data, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation Advanced Life Support Task Force performed a systematic review to evaluate 3 key questions: (1) Should mild induced hypothermia (or some form of targeted temperature management) be used in comatose post-cardiac arrest patients? (2) If used, what is the ideal timing of the intervention? (3) If used, what is the ideal duration of the intervention? The task force used Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation methodology to assess and summarize the evidence and to provide a consensus on science statement and treatment recommendations. The task force recommends targeted temperature management for adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with an initial shockable rhythm at a constant temperature between 32 °C and 36 °C for at least 24 hours. Similar suggestions are made for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with a nonshockable rhythm and in-hospital cardiac arrest. The task force recommends against prehospital cooling with rapid infusion of large volumes of cold intravenous fluid. Additional and specific recommendations are provided in the document.


Hypothermia after Cardiac Arrest Study Group. Mild therapeutic hypothermia to improve the neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2002 Feb 21;346(8):549-56. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa012689. Erratum in: N Engl J Med 2002 May 30;346(22):1756. PMID: 11856793.

Results: Seventy-five of the 136 patients in the hypothermia group for whom data were available (55 percent) had a favorable neurologic outcome (cerebral-performance category, 1 [good recovery] or 2 [moderate disability]), as compared with 54 of 137 (39 percent) in the normothermia group (risk ratio, 1.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.08 to 1.81). Mortality at six months was 41 percent in the hypothermia group (56 of 137 patients died), as compared with 55 percent in the normothermia group (76 of 138 patients; risk ratio, 0.74; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.95). The complication rate did not differ significantly between the two groups.

Conclusions: In patients who have been successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation, therapeutic mild hypothermia increased the rate of a favorable neurologic outcome and reduced mortality.

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