Still cooling after all these years: Meta-analysis of pre-clinical trials of therapeutic hypothermia for acute ischemic stroke

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016 Jul;36(7):1157-64. doi: 10.1177/0271678X16645112. Epub 2016 Apr 18.


Therapeutic hypothermia is the most potent neuroprotectant for experimental cerebral ischemia, illustrated in a 2007 meta-analysis published in this journal. To address recent therapeutic nihilism, we systematically reviewed recent experimental literature. Quality scoring showed considerable improvement in study design. Using several outcome measures in a variety of models and species, therapeutic hypothermia was protective compared with normothermia, with powerful and statistically significant normalized treatment effect sizes, in 60 papers comprising 216 comparisons. In the past 5 years, preclinical studies of ischemic stroke re-emphasize that therapeutic hypothermia is potently effective, justifying further development in larger human clinical trials.

Keywords: Acute stroke; animal models; hypothermia; neuroprotection; reperfusion.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome