COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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Outcomes of safety and effectiveness in a multicenter randomized, controlled trial of whole-body hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Pediatrics 2008 October
BACKGROUND: Whole-body hypothermia reduced the frequency of death or moderate/severe disabilities in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in a randomized, controlled multicenter trial.

OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to evaluate outcomes of safety and effectiveness of hypothermia in infants up to 18 to 22 months of age.

DESIGN/METHODS: A priori outcomes were evaluated between hypothermia (n = 102) and control (n = 106) groups.

RESULTS: Encephalopathy attributable to causes other than hypoxia-ischemia at birth was not noted. Inotropic support (hypothermia, 59% of infants; control, 56% of infants) was similar during the 72-hour study intervention period in both groups. Need for blood transfusions (hypothermia, 24%; control, 24%), platelet transfusions (hypothermia, 20%; control, 12%), and volume expanders (hypothermia, 54%; control, 49%) was similar in the 2 groups. Among infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension (hypothermia, 25%; control, 22%), nitric-oxide use (hypothermia, 68%; control, 57%) and placement on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (hypothermia, 4%; control, 9%) was similar between the 2 groups. Non-central nervous system organ dysfunctions occurred with similar frequency in the hypothermia (74%) and control (73%) groups. Rehospitalization occurred among 27% of the infants in the hypothermia group and 42% of infants in the control group. At 18 months, the hypothermia group had 24 deaths, 19 severe disabilities, and 2 moderate disabilities, whereas the control group had 38 deaths, 25 severe disabilities, and 1 moderate disability. Growth parameters were similar between survivors. No adverse outcomes were noted among infants receiving hypothermia with transient reduction of temperature below a target of 33.5 degrees C at initiation of cooling. There was a trend in reduction of frequency of all outcomes in the hypothermia group compared with the control group in both moderate and severe encephalopathy categories.

CONCLUSIONS: Although not powered to test these secondary outcomes, whole-body hypothermia in infants with encephalopathy was safe and was associated with a consistent trend for decreasing frequency of each of the components of disability.

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