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J Stroke. 2016 Sep;18(3):337-343. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5853/jos.2016.00276
Jeong HY , Chang JY , Yum KS , Hong JH , Jeong JH , Yeo MJ , Bae HJ , Han MK , Lee K .
Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. mkhan@snu.ac.kr
Department of Neurology, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Intensive Care medicine and Neurology, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Chungbuk National University, Chungju, Korea.
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The University of Texas Houston Medical School and Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, Houston, United States.
Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The use of decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) for the treatment of malignant cerebral edema can decrease mortality rates. However, this benefit is not sufficient to justify its use in elderly patients. We investigated the effects of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) on safety, feasibility, and functional outcomes in elderly patients with malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarcts. METHODS: Elderly patients 60 years of age and older with infarcts affecting more than two-thirds of the MCA territory were included. Patients who could not receive DHC were treated with TH. Hypothermia was started within 72 hours of symptom onset and was maintained for a minimum of 72 hours with a target temperature of 33°C. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at 3 months following treatment and complications of TH were used as functional outcomes. RESULTS: Eleven patients with a median age of 76 years and a median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score of 18 were treated with TH. The median time from symptom onset to initiation of TH was 30.3±23.0 hours and TH was maintained for a median of 76.7±57.1 hours. Shivering (100%) and electrolyte imbalance (82%) were frequent complications. Two patients died (18%). The mean mRS score 3 months following treatment was 4.9±0.8. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that extended use of hypothermia is safe and feasible for elderly patients with large hemispheric infarctions. Hypothermia may be considered as a therapeutic alternative to DHC in elderly individuals. Further studies are required to validate our findings.

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