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JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Targeted temperature management at 33°C versus 36°C after cardiac arrest

Niklas Nielsen, Jørn Wetterslev, Tobias Cronberg, David Erlinge, Yvan Gasche, Christian Hassager, Janneke Horn, Jan Hovdenes, Jesper Kjaergaard, Michael Kuiper, Tommaso Pellis, Pascal Stammet, Michael Wanscher, Matt P Wise, Anders Åneman, Nawaf Al-Subaie, Søren Boesgaard, John Bro-Jeppesen, Iole Brunetti, Jan Frederik Bugge, Christopher D Hingston, Nicole P Juffermans, Matty Koopmans, Lars Køber, Jørund Langørgen, Gisela Lilja, Jacob Eifer Møller, Malin Rundgren, Christian Rylander, Ondrej Smid, Christophe Werer, Per Winkel, Hans Friberg
New England Journal of Medicine 2013 December 5, 369 (23): 2197-206
24237006

BACKGROUND: Unconscious survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a high risk of death or poor neurologic function. Therapeutic hypothermia is recommended by international guidelines, but the supporting evidence is limited, and the target temperature associated with the best outcome is unknown. Our objective was to compare two target temperatures, both intended to prevent fever.

METHODS: In an international trial, we randomly assigned 950 unconscious adults after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac cause to targeted temperature management at either 33°C or 36°C. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality through the end of the trial. Secondary outcomes included a composite of poor neurologic function or death at 180 days, as evaluated with the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) scale and the modified Rankin scale.

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.).

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