Therapeutic hypothermia in children after cardiac arrest: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Janice F. Bistritz, Lauren M. Horton, Arlene Smaldone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has been shown to be effective in resuscitation of some adults following cardiac arrest and infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, but has not been well studied in children. Objectives: The purpose of this systematic review/meta-analysis was to examine mortality, neurologic outcomes, and adverse events in children following use of TH. Results: A search of PubMed, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Institute for Scientific Information's Web of Knowledge from 1946 to 2014 yielded 6 studies (3 retrospective and 3 prospective cohort studies) that met our inclusion criteria. Quantitative synthesis of mortality following TH (136 subjects) was 44% (95% confidence interval, 32-57) with 28% (95% confidence interval, 11-53) of survivors (42 subjects) demonstrating poor neurologic outcome. The most frequently reported adverse events were electrolyte imbalances and pneumonia. Conclusions: Evidence is insufficient to support the advantage of TH compared with normothermia in pediatric resuscitation. The adverse event profile appears to be different than that reported in adults. Further studies are needed before TH may be considered a standard protocol for children after cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac arrest
  • children
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review
  • therapeutic hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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