What are the neuroprotective mechanisms of hypothermia in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Extensive experimental data suggest that mild hypothermia (3-4°C below baseline temperature) applied within a few hours (no later than 6 h) of injury is neuroprotective. The neuroprotective mechanisms are not completely understood. Possible mechanisms include (1) reduced metabolic rate and energy depletion; (2) decreased excitatory transmitter release; (3) reduced alterations in ion flux; (4) reduced apoptosis due to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; and (4) reduced vascular permeability, edema, and disruptions of blood-brain barrier functions. [84, 85]

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