Therapeutic Moderate Hypothermia for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review
DONALD W. MARION
Senior Research Fellow, The Brain Trauma Foundation
There have been at least 14 prospective randomized clinical trials of the use of hypothermia to improve outcomes following severe traumatic brain injury. Combined, these trials found that the likelihood of a good outcome was 15% higher in those who were treated with hypothermia. At least 12 studies also have evaluated the effect of hypothermia on elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) and, with a single exception, have all found a significant reduction in ICP during the period of cooling. Laboratory investigations have defined several mechanisms whereby hypothermia may reduce secondary brain injury.