Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest: A systematic review/meta-analysis exploring the impact of expanded criteria and targeted temperature

Resuscitation. 2016 Nov;108:102-110. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.07.238. Epub 2016 Aug 10.


Aims of the study: We aimed to determine the benefit of an expanded use of TH. We also described the impact of a targeted temperature management on outcomes at discharge.

Data sources: We identified studies by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases. We included RCTs and observational studies restricted to those reporting achieved temperature during TH after OHCA. No other patient, cardiac arrest or hypothermia protocol restrictions were applied. Outcomes of interest were hospital mortality and neurological outcome at discharge. Appropriate risk of bias assessment for meta-analyzed studies was conducted. Studies contrasting hypothermia and normothermia outcomes were meta-analyzed using a random-effect model. Outcomes of cooling arms, obtained from enrolled studies, were pooled and compared across achieved temperatures.

Results: Search strategy yielded 32,275 citations of which 24 articles met inclusion criteria. Eleven studies were meta-analyzed. The use of TH after OHCA, even within an expanded use, decreased the mortality (OR 0.51, 95%CI [0.41-0.64]) and improved the odds of good neurological outcome (OR 2.48, 95%CI [1.91-3.22]). No statistical heterogeneity was found for either mortality (I2=4.0%) or neurological outcome (I2=0.0%). No differences in hospital mortality (p=0.86) or neurological outcomes at discharge (p=0.32) were found when pooled outcomes of 34 hypothermia arms grouped by cooling temperature were compared.

Conclusion: The use of TH after OHCA is associated with a survival and neuroprotective benefit, even when including patients with non-shockable rhythms, more lenient downtimes, unwitnessed arrest and/or persistent shock. We found no evidence to support one specific temperature over another during hypothermia.

Keywords: Expanded hypothermia use; Out-hospital cardiac arrest; Targeted temperature management; Therapeutic hypothermia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Hospital Distribution Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / mortality*
  • Hypothermia, Induced / statistics & numerical data
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality*
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome