HealthDay News — For adults, but not children, with traumatic brain injuries, therapeutic hypothermia is beneficial, according to a meta-analysis published online December 9 in Critical Care Medicine.

Ellie M. Crompton, from the Institute of Cardiovascular Research at the Royal Holloway University of London, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis to quantify the benefits of hypothermia therapy for traumatic brain injuries in adults and children. Data were reviewed from 41 studies in adults (3,109 patients aged 18 to 81 years) and from eight studies in children (454 patients aged 3 months to 18 years). 

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The researchers found that therapeutic hypothermia in adults was associated with an 18% reduction in mortality (risk ratio [RR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 0.96) compared with adults who were kept normothermic, and a 35% improvement in neurologic outcome (RR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.54). Hypothermic treatment in children was associated with a 66% increase in mortality (RR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.06 to 2.59) and a trend toward deterioration in neurologic outcome (RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.01).

“Therapeutic hypothermia is likely a beneficial treatment following traumatic brain injuries in adults but cannot be recommended in children,” the authors write.

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