Targeted Temperature Management at 33 degrees C versus 36 degrees C after Cardiac Arrest

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BackgroundUnconscious survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a high risk of death or poor neurologic function. Therapeutic hypothermia is recommended by international guidelines, but the supporting evidence is limited, and the target temperature associated with the best outcome is unknown. Our objective was to compare two target temperatures, both intended to prevent fever. MethodsIn an international trial, we randomly assigned 950 unconscious adults after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac cause to targeted temperature management at either 33 degrees C or 36 degrees C. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality through the end of the trial. Secondary outcomes included a composite of poor neurologic function or death at 180 days, as evaluated with the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) scale and the modified Rankin scale. ResultsIn total, 939 patients were included in the primary analysis. At the end of the trial, 50% of the patients in the 33 degrees C group (235 of 473 patients) had died, as compared with 48% of the patients in the 36 degrees C group (225 of 466 patients) (hazard ratio with a temperature of 33 degrees C, 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89 to 1.28; P=0.51). At the 180-day follow-up, 54% of the patients in the 33 degrees C group had died or had poor neurologic function according to the CPC, as compared with 52% of patients in the 36 degrees C group (risk ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.16; P=0.78). In the analysis using the modified Rankin scale, the comparable rate was 52% in both groups (risk ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.14; P=0.87). The results of analyses adjusted for known prognostic factors were similar. ConclusionsIn unconscious survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac cause, hypothermia at a targeted temperature of 33 degrees C did not confer a benefit as compared with a targeted temperature of 36 degrees C. (Funded by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and others; TTM number, NCT01020916.)


  • Jorn Wettersley
  • Yvan Gasche
  • Christian Hassager
  • Janneke Horn
  • Jan Hovdenes
  • Jesper Kjaergaard
  • Michael Kuiper
  • Tommaso Pellis
  • Pascal Stammet
  • Michael Wanscher
  • Matt P. Wise
  • Anders Aneman
  • Nawaf Al-Subaie
  • Soren Boesgaard
  • John Bro-Jeppesen
  • Iole Brunetti
  • Jan Frederik Bugge
  • Christopher D. Hingston
  • Nicole P. Juffermans
  • Matty Koopmans
  • Lars Kober
  • Jorund Langorgen
  • Jacob Eifer Moller
  • Malin Rundgren
  • Christian Rylander
  • Ondrej Smid
  • Christophe Werer
  • Per Winkel
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Neurology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2197-2206
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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