Hypothermia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 Oct;15(5):238-46. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 Mar 7.


Hypothermia is a potential neuroprotective intervention to treat neonatal post-asphyxial (hypoxic-ischemic) encephalopathy (HIE). In this meta-analysis of 13 clinical trials published to date, therapeutic hypothermia was associated with a highly reproducible reduction in the risk of the combined outcome of mortality or moderate-to-severe neurodevelopmental disability in childhood. This improvement was internally consistent, as shown by significant reductions in the individual risk for death, moderate-to-severe neurodevelopmental disability, severe cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, and psychomotor delay. Patients in the hypothermia group had higher incidences of arrhythmia and thrombocytopenia; however, these were not clinically important. This analysis supports the use of hypothermia in reducing the risk of the mortality or moderate-to-severe neurodevelopmental disability in infants with moderate HIE.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / complications*
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / etiology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Postpartum Period
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index*