THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Moderate therapeutic hypothermia for 24 hours is associated with improvement in favorable neurologic outcome at 90 days among patients with persistent coma who have been resuscitated from cardiac arrest with nonshockable rhythm, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 in Berlin.

Jean-Baptiste Lascarrou, M.D., from the University Hospital Center in Nantes, France, and colleagues compared moderate therapeutic hypothermia (33 degrees Celsius during the first 24 hours) to targeted normothermia (37 degrees Celsius) in 581 patients with coma admitted to the intensive care unit after resuscitation from cardiac arrest with nonshockable rhythm.

The researchers found that 10.2 percent of patients in the hypothermia group and 5.7 percent in the normothermia group were alive with a Cerebral Performance Category score of 1 or 2 on day 90 (difference, 4.5 percentage points; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.1 to 8.9; P = 0.04). No significant difference in mortality at 90 days was noted between the groups (81.3 versus 83.2 percent; difference, −1.9 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, −8.0 to 4.3). The investigators observed no between-group difference in the incidence of prespecified adverse events.

“The targeting of a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius in patients who had cardiac arrest with nonshockable rhythm significantly improved survival with a favorable day-90 neurologic outcome,” the authors write.

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