U.S. heart centers join international therapeutic hypothermia effort

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Therapeutic hypothermia helps reduce neurologic deficits in those resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, many questions remain regarding optimal delivery. Six U.S. heart centers will add to the growing body of evidence as they join an international registry.

The announcement was made today by Michael Mooney, MD, of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, at the Miracle on Ice 2010: Therapeutic Hypothermia for Cardiac Arrest Patients meeting in Minneapolis.

The six centers developed nearly 100 new cardiology-specific data points to be used by the International Cardiac Arrest Network's (INTCAR) registry and have joined the international organization in order to produce clinical data that will help guide treatment. The hope also is to encourage the 85 percent of U.S. hospitals that presently do not offer therapeutic hypothermia to adopt the technique.

The featured centers along with the Minneapolis Heart Institute are: University of Arizona in Tucson; Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa.; Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans; Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Cooling has been shown to improve a patient's chance of having a good neurological outcome after cardiac arrest. "Some cardiologists consider treating the patient only after he or she has demonstrated neurological function, but that's too late for the best possible outcome," Mooney said.

The new cardiology data points from more than 500 patients from the six centers are being added to INTCAR's database. Researchers will soon begin data analysis to determine how clinical course and neurological outcomes are impacted by treatments and their timing in those resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

"With these cardiology updates to the registry, we can access and communicate worldwide outcomes from a far more comprehensive cardiovascular perspective," said Mooney.

All six centers that joined INTCAR use the Arctic Sun Temperature Management System. The latest version of the product, the Arctic Sun 5000, was launched today at the Miracle on Ice meeting.

INTCAR is a joint venture of the Hypothermia Network, the Neurocritical Care Society and the European Cardiac Arrest Research Network, and is the world's largest registry of cardiac arrest survivors treated with therapeutic hypothermia.