Evolution, safety and efficacy of targeted temperature management after pediatric cardiac arrest

Barney Scholefield, Kevin P Morris, Heather P Duncan, Gavin D Perkins, Jessica Gosney, Richard Skone, Victoria Sanders, Fang Gao

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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It is unknown whether targeted temperature management (TTM) improves survival after pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The aim of this study was to assess the evolution, safety and efficacy of TTM (32–34 °C) compared to standard temperature management (STM) (<38 °C).


Retrospective, single center cohort study. Patients aged >one day up to 16 years, admitted to a UK Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) after OHCA (January 2004–December 2010). Primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge; efficacy and safety outcomes included: application of TTM, physiological, hematological and biochemical side effects.


Seventy-three patients were included. Thirty-eight patients (52%) received TTM (32–34 °C). Prior to ILCOR guidance adoption in January 2007, TTM was used infrequently (4/25; 16%). Following adoption, TTM (32–34 °C) use increased significantly (34/48; 71% Chi2; p < 0.0001). TTM (32–34 °C) and STM (<38 °C) groups were similar at baseline. TTM (32–34 °C) was associated with bradycardia and hypotension compared to STM (<38 °C). TTM (32–34 °C) reduced episodes of hyperthermia (>38 °C) in the 1st 24 h; however, excessive hypothermia (<32 °C) and hyperthermia (>38 °C) occurred in both groups up to 72 h, and all patients (n = 11) experiencing temperature <32 °C died. The study was underpowered to determine a difference in hospital survival (34% (TTM (32–34 °C)) versus 23% (STM (<38 °C)); p = 0.284). However, the TTM (32–34 °C) group had a significantly longer PICU length of stay.


TTM (32–34 °C) was feasible but associated with bradycardia, hypotension, and increased length of stay in PICU. Temperature <32 °C had a universally grave prognosis. Larger studies are required to assess effect on survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
Early online date20 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Pediatric critical care
  • Therapeutic hypothermia
  • Targeted temperature management
  • Observational study
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest


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