Hypothermia versus normothermia after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Dhan Bahadur Shrestha, Yub Raj Sedhai, Pravash Budhathoki, Suman Gaire, Anurag Adhikari, Ayusha Poudel, Barun Babu Aryal, Wasey Ali Yadullahi Mir, Khagendra Dahal, Markos G. Kashiouris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The current guidelines recommend targeted temperature management (TTM) as part of the post-resuscitation care for comatose patients following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. These recommendations are based on the weak evidence of benefit seen in the early clinical trials. Recent large multicentered trials have failed to show a meaningful clinical benefit of hypothermia, unlike the earlier studies. Thus, to fully appraise the available data, we sought to perform this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Methods: We searched four databases for randomized controlled trials comparing therapeutic hypothermia (32–34 °C) with normothermia (≥36 °C with control of fever) in adult patients resuscitated after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Independent reviewers did the title and abstract screening, full-text screening, and extraction. The primary outcome was mortality six months after cardiac arrest, and secondary outcomes were neurological outcomes and adverse effects. Relevance for patients: Six randomized controlled trials were included in this review. There was no significant difference between the hypothermia and normothermia groups in mortality till 6 months follow up after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.67–1.16; n = 3243; I2 = 51%), or favorable neurological outcome (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.93–1.84; n = 3091; I2 = 68%). Rates of arrhythmias were notably higher in the hypothermia group than the normothermia group (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; n = 3029; I2 = 4%). However, odds for development of pneumonia showed no significant differences across two groups (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.98–1.31; n = 3056; I2 = 22%). Therefore, targeted hypothermia with a target temperature of 32–34 °C does not provide mortality benefit or better neurological outcome in patients resuscitated after the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest when compared with normothermia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103327
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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