Therapeutic Hypothermia for Acute Neurological Injuries

Lucia Rivera-Lara, Jiaying Zhang, Susanne Muehlschlegel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the intentional reduction of core body temperature to 32°C to 35°C, and is increasingly applied by intensivists for a variety of acute neurological injuries to achieve neuroprotection and reduction of elevated intracranial pressure. TH improves outcomes in comatose patients after a cardiac arrest with a shockable rhythm, but other off-label applications exist and are likely to increase in the future. This comprehensive review summarizes the physiology and cellular mechanism of action of TH, as well as different means of TH induction and maintenance with potential side effects. Indications of TH are critically reviewed by disease entity, as reported in the most recent literature, and evidence-based recommendations are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac arrest
  • hypothermia
  • hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • intracranial hypertension
  • neurocritical care
  • neurological outcome
  • perinatal asphyxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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