Mild therapeutic hypothermia is associated with favourable outcome in patients after cardiac arrest with non-shockable rhythms

Christoph Testori, Fritz Sterz, Wilhelm Behringer, Moritz Haugk, Thomas Uray, Andrea Zeiner, Andreas Janata, Jasmin Arrich, Michael Holzer, Heidrun Losert
Resuscitation 2011, 82 (9): 1162-7

AIM: Mild therapeutic hypothermia (32-34°C) improves neurological recovery and reduces the risk of death in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest when the initial rhythm is ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia. The aim of the presented study was to investigate the effect of mild therapeutic hypothermia (32-34°C for 24h) on neurological outcome and mortality in patients who had been successfully resuscitated from non-ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study we included cardiac arrest survivors of 18 years of age or older suffering a witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with asystole or pulseless electric activity as the first documented rhythm. Data were collected from 1992 to 2009. Main outcome measures were neurological outcome within six month and mortality after six months.

RESULTS: Three hundred and seventy-four patients were analysed. Hypothermia was induced in 135 patients. Patients who were treated with mild therapeutic hypothermia were more likely to have good neurological outcomes in comparison to patients who were not treated with hypothermia with an odds ratio of 1.84 (95% confidence interval: 1.08-3.13). In addition, the rate of mortality was significantly lower in the hypothermia group (odds ratio: 0.56; 95% confidence interval: 0.34-0.93).

CONCLUSION: Treatment with mild therapeutic hypothermia at a temperature of 32-34°C for 24h is associated with improved neurological outcome and a reduced risk of death following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with non-shockable rhythms.

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