What are the adverse effects of hypothermia therapy for 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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Answer

Many theoretical concerns surround hypothermia and its side effects, which include coagulation defects, leukocyte malfunctions, pulmonary hypertension, worsening of metabolic acidosis, and abnormalities of cardiac rhythm, especially during rewarming.

Randomized trials have been reassuring thus far regarding the safety and applicability of therapeutic hypothermia. [92] In a 2013 Cochrane review, significant adverse effects were limited to sinus bradycardia (RR 11.59 [4.94-27.17]; number need to harm [NNTH] 11 [9-14]), and thrombocytopenia (RR 1.21 [1.05-1.40]; NNTH 17 [10-50]).


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