Association Between Target Temperature Variability and Neurologic Outcomes for Patients Receiving Targeted Temperature Management at 36°C After Cardiac Arrest: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag. 2020 Jun 16. doi: 10.1089/ther.2020.0005. Online ahead of print.


Maintaining strict temperature control during the maintenance phase of targeted temperature management (TTM) after cardiac arrest may be an important component of clinical care. Temperature variability outside of the goal temperature range may lessen the benefit of TTM and worsen neurologic outcomes. The purpose of this retrospective study of 186 adult patients (70.4% males, mean age 53.8 ± 15.7 years) was to investigate the relationship between body temperature variability (at least one body temperature measurement outside of 36°C ± 0.5°C) during the maintenance phase of TTM at 36°C after cardiac arrest and neurologic outcome at hospital discharge. Patients with temperature variability (n = 124 [66.7%]) did not have significantly higher odds of poor neurologic outcome compared with those with no temperature variability (odds ratio [OR] = 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.36-2.82). Use of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) and having an initial shockable rhythm were associated with both higher odds of good neurologic outcome (shockable rhythm: OR = 10.77, 95% CI = 4.30-26.98; NMBA use: OR = 4.54, 95% CI = 1.34-15.40) and survival to hospital discharge (shockable rhythm: OR = 5.90, 95% CI = 2.65-13.13; NMBA use: OR = 3.03, 95% CI = 1.16-7.90). In this cohort of postcardiac arrest comatose survivors undergoing TTM at 36°C, having temperature variability during maintenance phase did not significantly impact neurologic outcome or survival.

Keywords: cardiac arrest; induced hypothermia; induced mild hypothermia; therapeutic hypothermia.