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Clin Perinatol. 2008 Dec;35(4):735-48, vi-vii. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2008.07.012.

Brain cooling for preterm infants.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.


There is strong evidence that prolonged, moderate cerebral hypothermia initiated within a few hours after severe hypoxia-ischemia and continued until resolution of the acute phase of delayed cell death can reduce neuronal loss and improve behavioral recovery in term infants and adults after cardiac arrest. This review examines the evidence that mild to moderate hypothermia is protective after hypoxia-ischemia in models of preterm brain injury and evaluates the potential risks. Induced hypothermia likely has potential to significantly reduce disability. Cautious, systematic trials are essential before hypothermia can be used in these vulnerable infants.

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