Literature Review

Hypothermia Offers Little Benefit to Patients with Convulsive Status Epilepticus

Multicenter clinical trial found lowering body temperature had no effect on Glasgow Scores.


Induced hypothermia does not improve clinical outcomes among patients with convulsive status epilepticus (CSE), according to a new multicenter study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. To reach that conclusion, investigators assigned 270 critically ill patients with CSE on mechanical ventilation to either standard care or standard care plus hypothermia, which lowered their body temperature to 32 to 34⁰C for 24 hours. To measure the impact of hypothermia, researchers used the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score and defined success as a GOS score of 5, which represents no or minimal neurologic deficit, at 90 days. Forty-nine percent of patients on hypothermia achieved a score of 5, compared to 43% of those on standard care, which was statistically insignificant ( P=.43).

Legriel S, Lemiale V, Schenck, M, et al. Hypothermia for Neuroprotection in Convulsive Status Epilepticus. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(25):2457-2467.

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