From therapeutic hypothermia towards targeted temperature management: a decade of evolution

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Pieter-Jan Palmers, Nick Hiltrop, Koen Ameloot, Philippe Timmermans, Bert Ferdinande, Peter Sinnaeve, Rogier Nieuwendijk, Manu L.N.G. Malbrain


More than a decade after the first randomised controlled trials with targeted temperature management (TTM), it remains the only treatment with proven favourable effect on postanoxemic brain damage after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Other well-known indications include neurotrauma, subarachnoidal haemorrhage, and intracranial hypertension. When possible pitfalls are taken into consideration when implementing TTM, the side effects are manageable. After the recent TTM trials, it seems that classic TTM (32−34°C) is as effective and safe as TTM at 36°C. This supports the belief that fever prevention is one of the pivotal mechanisms that account for the success of TTM. Uncertainty remains concerning cooling method, timing, speed of cooling and rewarming. New data indicates that TTM is safe and feasible in cardiogenic shock, one of its classic contra-indications. Moreover, there are limited indications that TTM might be considered as a therapy for cardiogenic shock per se.

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