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Intravascular versus surface cooling speed and stability after cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  1. M C de Waard1,
  2. R P Banwarie2,
  3. L S D Jewbali2,3,
  4. A Struijs2,
  5. A R J Girbes1,
  6. A B J Groeneveld2
  1. 1Department of Intensive Care, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Intensive Care, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr M C de Waard, Department of Intensive Care, VU University Medical Centre, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam 1081 HV, the Netherlands; mc.dewaard{at}


Background and objective Mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH) is used to limit neurological injury and improve survival after cardiac arrest (CA) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but the optimal mode of cooling is controversial. We therefore compared the effectiveness of MTH using invasive intravascular or non-invasive surface cooling with temperature feedback control.

Methods This retrospective study in post-CA patients studied the effects of intravascular cooling (CoolGard, Zoll, n=97), applied on the intensive care unit (ICU) in one university hospital compared with those of surface cooling (Medi-Therm, Gaymar, n=76) applied in another university hospital.

Results Time to reach target temperature and cooling speeds did not differ between groups. During the maintenance phase, mean core temperature was 33.1°C (range 32.7–33.7°C) versus 32.5°C (range 31.7–33.4°C) at targets of 33.0 and 32.5°C in intravascularly versus surface cooled patients, respectively. The variation coefficient for temperature during maintenance was higher in the surface than the intravascular cooling group (mean 0.85% vs 0.35%, p<0.0001). ICU survival was 60% and 50% in the intravascularly and surface cooled groups, respectively (NS). Lower age (OR 0.95; 95% CI 0.93 to 0.98; p<0.0001), ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia as presenting rhythm (OR 7.6; 95% CI 1.8 to 8.9; p<0.0001) and lower mean temperature during the maintenance phase (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.25 to 1.08; p=0.081) might be independent determinants of ICU survival, while cooling technique and temperature variability did not contribute.

Conclusions In post-CA patients, intravascular cooling systems result in equal cooling speed, but less variation in temperature during the maintenance phase, as surface cooling. This may not affect the outcome.

  • resuscitation, research
  • resuscitation, effectiveness

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