, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 73-86
Date: 16 Dec 2011

Therapeutic Hypothermia for Acute Neurological Injuries

Abstract

Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the intentional reduction of core body temperature to 32°C to 35°C, and is increasingly applied by intensivists for a variety of acute neurological injuries to achieve neuroprotection and reduction of elevated intracranial pressure. TH improves outcomes in comatose patients after a cardiac arrest with a shockable rhythm, but other off-label applications exist and are likely to increase in the future. This comprehensive review summarizes the physiology and cellular mechanism of action of TH, as well as different means of TH induction and maintenance with potential side effects. Indications of TH are critically reviewed by disease entity, as reported in the most recent literature, and evidence-based recommendations are provided.