Mild Prolonged Hypothermia for Large Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Perihemorrhagic edema (PHE) develops after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). It can worsen the clinical situation by its additional mass effect. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) might be an effective method to control PHE, but has not been sufficiently studied in ICH patients.
We report data on n = 25 consecutive patients with large supratentorial ICH (volume > 25 ml) who were treated by mild TH of 35 °C for 8–10 days. Body temperature was controlled by endovascular cooling catheters. We followed the clinical course during hospital stay and measured volumes of ICH and PHE in regularly performed serial cranial computed tomography. Outcome was assessed after 3 and 12 months. These data were compared to a historical group of n = 25 patients with large ICH.
While PHE continuously increased in the historical control group up to day 10, PHE volumes in the hypothermia group remained stable. There was a significant difference from day 3 after symptom onset. Shivering (36 %) and pneumonia (96 %) were the most frequent complications during TH. Mortality rate was 8.3 % in TH versus 16.7 % in the control group after 3 months and 28 versus 44 % after 1 year.
These data support the promising results of our first case series on TH in large ICH. TH prevents the development of PHE and its complications. Side effects of TH appeared often, but could be treated sufficiently. Therefore, TH might represent a new therapy for PHE after large ICH, but has to be further tested in randomized trials.
KeywordsIntracerebral hemorrhage Perihemorrhagic edema Hypothermia
The study was not funded. DS, IW, BV, AD, and SS do not report any conflicts of interest. RK received travelling Grants from Zoll Medical (Germany).
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