What is the best method 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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Two methods have been used in clinical trials: selective head cooling and whole body cooling.

In selective head cooling, a cap (CoolCap) with channels for circulating cold water is placed over the infant's head, and a pumping device facilitates continuous circulation of cold water. Nasopharyngeal or rectal temperature is then maintained at 34º-35°C for 72 hours.

In whole body hypothermia, the infant is placed on a commercially available cooling blanket, through which circulating cold water flows, so that the desired level of hypothermia is reached quickly and maintained for 72 hours.

The relative merits and limitations of these 2 methods have not been established; however, whole body hypothermia is most widely used modality to provide therapeutic hypothermia.

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