Therapeutic hypothermia: Myths and controversies

The use of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) in critical care medicine is no longer a rarity. (1-3) This technique is no longer an urban myth. A variety of robust clinical trials have documented the advantages of using this therapeutic modality in comatose victims of cardiac arrest with successful return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). (4,5)
TH has many potential applications other than cardiac arrest victims with ROSC and coma. (1,6) Data is available for a variety of critical conditions. Current data clearly indicates that TH protects the cells against the aggressors in hypoxic or anoxic events (not only cardiac-related). (6) TH can protect the microvasculature, reducing the expression of reactive oxygen species; inhibiting adhesion, activation, and accumulation of neutrophils, preserving the adenosine triphosphate storages and maintaining an aerobic metabolism. (1,6)Therapeutic hypothermia: Myths and controversies