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Lancet Neurol. 2013 Mar;12(3):275-84. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70013-9.

Hypothermia for acute ischaemic stroke.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Ischaemic stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, and intravenous alteplase is the only proven effective treatment in the acute setting. Hypothermia has been shown to improve neurological outcomes after global ischaemia-hypoxia in comatose patients who have had cardiac arrest, and is one of the most extensively studied and powerful therapeutic strategies in acute ischaemic stroke. The protective mechanisms of therapeutic hypothermia affect the ischaemic cascade across several parallel pathways and, when coupled with reperfusion strategies, might yield synergistic benefits for patients who have had a stroke. Technological advances have allowed hypothermia to be induced rapidly, and the treatment has been used safely in acute stroke patients. Conclusive efficacy trials assessing therapeutic hypothermia combined with reperfusion therapies in acute ischaemic stroke are ongoing.

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