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1.  Brain injury following trial of hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy 
The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between brain injury and outcome following neonatal hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia.
Design and patients
Neonatal MRI scans were evaluated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) randomised controlled trial of whole-body hypothermia and each infant was categorised based upon the pattern of brain injury on the MRI findings. Brain injury patterns were assessed as a marker of death or disability at 18–22 months of age.
Scans were obtained on 136 of 208 trial participants (65%); 73 in the hypothermia and 63 in the control group. Normal scans were noted in 38 of 73 infants (52%) in the hypothermia group and 22 of 63 infants (35%) in the control group. Infants in the hypothermia group had fewer areas of infarction (12%) compared to infants in the control group (22%). Fifty-one of the 136 infants died or had moderate or severe disability at 18 months. The brain injury pattern correlated with outcome of death or disability and with disability among survivors. Each point increase in the severity of the pattern of brain injury was independently associated with a twofold increase in the odds of death or disability.
Fewer areas of infarction and a trend towards more normal scans were noted in brain MRI following whole-body hypothermia. Presence of the NICHD pattern of brain injury is a marker of death or moderate or severe disability at 18–22 months following hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3722585  PMID: 23080477
2.  Childhood Outcomes after Hypothermia for Neonatal Encephalopathy 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(22):2085-2092.
We previously reported early results of a randomized trial of whole-body hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy showing a significant reduction in the rate of death or moderate or severe disability at 18 to 22 months of age. Long-term outcomes are now available.
In the original trial, we assigned infants with moderate or severe encephalopathy to usual care (the control group) or whole-body cooling to an esophageal temperature of 33.5°C for 72 hours, followed by slow rewarming (the hypothermia group). We evaluated cognitive, attention and executive, and visuospatial function; neurologic outcomes; and physical and psychosocial health among participants at 6 to 7 years of age. The primary outcome of the present analyses was death or an IQ score below 70.
Of the 208 trial participants, primary outcome data were available for 190. Of the 97 children in the hypothermia group and the 93 children in the control group, death or an IQ score below 70 occurred in 46 (47%) and 58 (62%), respectively (P = 0.06); death occurred in 27 (28%) and 41 (44%) (P = 0.04); and death or severe disability occurred in 38 (41%) and 53 (60%) (P = 0.03). Other outcome data were available for the 122 surviving children, 70 in the hypothermia group and 52 in the control group. Moderate or severe disability occurred in 24 of 69 children (35%) and 19 of 50 children (38%), respectively (P = 0.87). Attention–executive dysfunction occurred in 4% and 13%, respectively, of children receiving hypothermia and those receiving usual care (P = 0.19), and visuospatial dysfunction occurred in 4% and 3% (P = 0.80).
The rate of the combined end point of death or an IQ score of less than 70 at 6 to 7 years of age was lower among children undergoing whole-body hypothermia than among those undergoing usual care, but the differences were not significant. However, hypothermia resulted in lower death rates and did not increase rates of severe disability among survivors. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network; number, NCT00005772.)
PMCID: PMC3459579  PMID: 22646631
3.  Hypothermia for hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy 
Moderate to severe hypoxic–ischemic injury in newborn infants, manifested as encephalopathy immediately or within hours after birth, is associated with a high risk of either death or a lifetime with disability. In recent multicenter clinical trials, hypothermia initiated within the first 6 postnatal hours has emerged as a therapy that reduces the risk of death or impairment among infants with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy. Prior to hypothermia, no therapies directly targeting neonatal encephalopathy secondary to hypoxic–ischemic injury had convincing evidence of efficacy. Hypothermia therapy is now becoming increasingly available at tertiary centers. Despite the deserved enthusiasm for hypothermia, obstetric and neonatology caregivers, as well as society at large, must be reminded that in the clinical trials more than 40% of cooled infants died or survived with impairment. Although hypothermia is an evidence-based therapy, additional discoveries are needed to further improve outcome after HIE. In this article, we briefly present the epidemiology of neonatal encephalopathy due to hypoxic–ischemic injury, describe the rationale for the use of hypothermia therapy for hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, and present results of the clinical trials that have demonstrated the efficacy of hypothermia. We also present findings noted during and after these trials that will guide care and direct research for this devastating problem.
PMCID: PMC2897079  PMID: 20625441
HIE; hyperthermia; hypothermia; hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy; neonate; perinatal asphyxia
4.  Evolution of Encephalopathy during Whole Body Hypothermia for Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 
The Journal of Pediatrics  2011;160(4):567-572.e3.
To examine the predictive ability of stage of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) for death or moderate/severe disability at 18 months among neonates undergoing hypothermia.
Study design
Stage of encephalopathy was evaluated at <6 hr of age, during study intervention and at discharge among 204 participants in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network Trial of whole body hypothermia for HIE. HIE was examined as a predictor of outcome by regression models.
Moderate and severe HIE occurred at <6 hrs of age among 68% and 32% of 101 hypothermia group infants and 60% and 40% of 103 control group infants, respectively. At 24 and 48 hrs of study intervention, infants in the hypothermia group had less severe HIE than infants in the control group. Persistence of severe HIE at 72 hrs increased the risk of death or disability after controlling for treatment group. The discharge exam improved the predictive value of stage of HIE at < 6hrs for death/disability.
On serial neurological examinations, improvement in stage of HIE was associated with cooling. Persistence of severe HIE at 72 hours and an abnormal neurological exam at discharge was associated with a greater risk of death or disability.
PMCID: PMC3299861  PMID: 22050871
Neurological examinations; neonates; clinical biomarker; death; disability
5.  Association between Urinary Lactate to Creatinine Ratio and Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Term Infants with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 
The Journal of pediatrics  2008;153(3):375-378.
To assess the association between urinary lactate to creatinine ratio (ULCR) and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and examine the effect of hypothermia on the change in ULCR.
Study design
Spot urine samples were collected in 58 term infants (28 hypothermia, 30 control subjects) with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Urinary lactate and creatinine were measured by using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and expressed as ULCR. Survivors were examined at 18 months of age.
The ULCR was significantly higher in infants who died or had moderate/severe neurodevelopmental disability. Logistic regression analysis controlling for hypothermia and severity of encephalopathy confirmed the association (adjusted odds ratio, 5.52; 95% CI, 1.36, 22.42; P < .02). Considerable overlap in ULCR was observed between infants with normal/mild disability and those who died or survived with moderate/severe disability. ULCR fell significantly between 6 and 24 hours and 48 and 72 hours of age for all infants. The magnitude of decline did not differ between hypothermia and control groups.
High ULCR is associated with death or moderate/severe neurodevelopmental disability. Significant overlap in values between the normal/mild and moderate/severe disability groups limits predictive value of this measure. Whole-body hypothermia did not affect the decline in ULCR.
PMCID: PMC2953792  PMID: 18534246
6.  Temperature Profile and Outcomes of Neonates Undergoing Whole Body Hypothermia for Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 
Decreases below target temperature were noted among neonates undergoing cooling in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network Trial of whole body hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
To examine the temperature profile and impact on outcome among ≥ 36 week gestation neonates randomized at ≤ 6 hours of age targeting esophageal temperature of 33.5°C for 72 hours.
Infants with intermittent temperatures recorded < 32.0°C during induction and maintenance of cooling were compared to all other cooled infants and relationship with outcome at 18 months was evaluated.
There were no differences in stage of encephalopathy, acidosis, or 10 minute Apgar scores between infants with temperatures < 32.0°C during induction (n=33) or maintenance (n=10) and all other infants who were cooled (n=58); however birth weight was lower and need for blood pressure support higher among infants with temperatures < 32.0 °C compared to all other cooled infants. No increase in acute adverse events were noted among infants with temperatures < 32.0 °C and hours spent < 32°C were not associated with the primary outcome of death or moderate/severe disability or the Bayley II Mental Developmental Index at 18 months.
Term infants with a lower birth weight are at risk for decreasing temperatures < 32.0°C while undergoing body cooling using a servo controlled system. This information suggests extra caution during the application of hypothermia as these lower birth weight infants are at risk for overcooling. Our findings may assist in planning additional trials of lower target temperature for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3161166  PMID: 21499182
temperature; hypothermia; newborn; hypoxia-ischemia; encephalopathy; whole-body cooling
7.  Safety and efficacy of topiramate in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia (NeoNATI) 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:144.
Despite progresses in neonatal care, the mortality and the incidence of neuro-motor disability after perinatal asphyxia have failed to show substantial improvements. In countries with a high level of perinatal care, the incidence of asphyxia responsible for moderate or severe encephalopathy is still 2–3 per 1000 term newborns. Recent trials have demonstrated that moderate hypothermia, started within 6 hours after birth and protracted for 72 hours, can significantly improve survival and reduce neurologic impairment in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. It is not currently known whether neuroprotective drugs can further improve the beneficial effects of hypothermia. Topiramate has been proven to reduce brain injury in animal models of neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. However, the association of mild hypothermia and topiramate treatment has never been studied in human newborns. The objective of this research project is to evaluate, through a multicenter randomized controlled trial, whether the efficacy of moderate hypothermia can be increased by concomitant topiramate treatment.
Term newborns (gestational age ≥ 36 weeks and birth weight ≥ 1800 g) with precocious metabolic, clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) signs of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy will be randomized, according to their EEG pattern, to receive topiramate added to standard treatment with moderate hypothermia or standard treatment alone. Topiramate will be administered at 10 mg/kg once a day for the first 3 days of life. Topiramate concentrations will be measured on serial dried blood spots. 64 participants will be recruited in the study. To evaluate the safety of topiramate administration, cardiac and respiratory parameters will be continuously monitored. Blood samplings will be performed to check renal, liver and metabolic balance. To evaluate the efficacy of topiramate, the neurologic outcome of enrolled newborns will be evaluated by serial neurologic and neuroradiologic examinations. Visual function will be evaluated by means of behavioural standardized tests.
This pilot study will explore the possible therapeutic role of topiramate in combination with moderate hypothermia. Any favourable results of this research might open new perspectives about the reduction of cerebral damage in asphyxiated newborns.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN62175998; Identifier NCT01241019; EudraCT Number 2010-018627-25
PMCID: PMC3478965  PMID: 22950861
Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; Therapeutic hypothermia; Topiramate
8.  A systematic review of cooling for neuroprotection in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy – are we there yet? 
BMC Pediatrics  2007;7:30.
The objective of this study was to systematically review randomized trials assessing therapeutic hypothermia as a treatment for term neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL databases, reference lists of identified studies, and proceedings of the Pediatric Academic Societies were searched in July 2006. Randomized trials assessing the effect of therapeutic hypothermia by either selective head cooling or whole body cooling in term neonates were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The primary outcome was death or neurodevelopmental disability at ≥ 18 months.
Five trials involving 552 neonates were included in the analysis. Cooling techniques and the definition and severity of neurodevelopmental disability differed between studies. Overall, there is evidence of a significant effect of therapeutic hypothermia on the primary composite outcome of death or disability (RR: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.92, NNT: 8, 95% CI: 5, 20) as well as on the single outcomes of mortality (RR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.96) and neurodevelopmental disability at 18 to 22 months (RR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.98). Adverse effects include benign sinus bradycardia (RR: 7.42, 95% CI: 2.52, 21.87) and thrombocytopenia (RR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07, 2.03, NNH: 8) without deleterious consequences.
In general, therapeutic hypothermia seems to have a beneficial effect on the outcome of term neonates with moderate to severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Despite the methodological differences between trials, wide confidence intervals, and the lack of follow-up data beyond the second year of life, the consistency of the results is encouraging. Further research is necessary to minimize the uncertainty regarding efficacy and safety of any specific technique of cooling for any specific population.
PMCID: PMC2031882  PMID: 17784966
9.  Clinical Seizures in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Have No Independent Impact on Neurodevelopmental Outcome: Secondary Analyses of Data from the Neonatal Research Network Hypothermia Trial 
Journal of Child Neurology  2010;26(3):322-328.
It remains controversial as to whether neonatal seizures have additional direct effects on the developing brain separate from the severity of the underlying encephalopathy. Using data collected from infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and who were enrolled in an National Institute of Child Health and Human Development trial of hypothermia, we analyzed associations between neonatal clinical seizures and outcomes at 18 months of age. Of the 208 infants enrolled, 102 received whole body hypothermia and 106 were controls. Clinical seizures were generally noted during the first 4 days of life and rarely afterward. When adjustment was made for study treatment and severity of encephalopathy, seizures were not associated with death, or moderate or severe disability, or lower Bayley Mental Development Index scores at 18 months of life. Among infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, the mortality and morbidity often attributed to neonatal seizures can be better explained by the underlying severity of encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3290332  PMID: 20921569
neonatal seizures; whole-body hypothermia; neurodevelopmental outcome; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
10.  Neurological outcomes at 18 months of age after moderate hypothermia for perinatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy: synthesis and meta-analysis of trial data 
Objective To determine whether moderate hypothermia after hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy in neonates improves survival and neurological outcome at 18 months of age.
Design A meta-analysis was performed using a fixed effect model. Risk ratios, risk difference, and number needed to treat, plus 95% confidence intervals, were measured.
Data sources Studies were identified from the Cochrane central register of controlled trials, the Oxford database of perinatal trials, PubMed, previous reviews, and abstracts.
Review methods Reports that compared whole body cooling or selective head cooling with normal care in neonates with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy and that included data on death or disability and on specific neurological outcomes of interest to patients and clinicians were selected.
Results We found three trials, encompassing 767 infants, that included information on death and major neurodevelopmental disability after at least 18 months’ follow-up. We also identified seven other trials with mortality information but no appropriate neurodevelopmental data. Therapeutic hypothermia significantly reduced the combined rate of death and severe disability in the three trials with 18 month outcomes (risk ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.93, P=0.002; risk difference −0.11, 95% CI −0.18 to −0.04), with a number needed to treat of nine (95% CI 5 to 25). Hypothermia increased survival with normal neurological function (risk ratio 1.53, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.93, P<0.001; risk difference 0.12, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.18), with a number needed to treat of eight (95% CI 5 to 17), and in survivors reduced the rates of severe disability (P=0.006), cerebral palsy (P=0.004), and mental and the psychomotor developmental index of less than 70 (P=0.01 and P=0.02, respectively). No significant interaction between severity of encephalopathy and treatment effect was detected. Mortality was significantly reduced when we assessed all 10 trials (1320 infants; relative risk 0.78, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.93, P=0.005; risk difference −0.07, 95% CI −0.12 to −0.02), with a number needed to treat of 14 (95% CI 8 to 47).
Conclusions In infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, moderate hypothermia is associated with a consistent reduction in death and neurological impairment at 18 months.
PMCID: PMC2819259  PMID: 20144981
11.  Effect of Depth and Duration of Cooling on Deaths in the NICU Among Neonates With Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy 
JAMA  2014;312(24):2629-2639.
Hypothermia at 33.5°C for 72 hours for neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy reduces death or disability to 44% to 55%; longer cooling and deeper cooling are neuroprotective in animal models.
To determine if longer duration cooling (120 hours), deeper cooling (32.0°C), or both are superior to cooling at 33.5°C for 72 hours in neonates who are full-term with moderate or severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Arandomized, 2 × 2 factorial design clinical trial performed in 18 US centers in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network between October 2010 and November 2013.
Neonates were assigned to 4 hypothermia groups; 33.5°C for 72 hours, 32.0°C for 72 hours, 33.5°C for 120 hours, and 32.0°C for 120 hours.
The primary outcome of death or disability at 18 to 22 months is ongoing. The independent data and safety monitoring committee paused the trial to evaluate safety (cardiac arrhythmia, persistent acidosis, major vessel thrombosis and bleeding, and death in the neonatal intensive care unit [NICU]) after the first 50 neonates were enrolled, then after every subsequent 25 neonates. The trial was closed for emerging safety profile and futility analysis after the eighth review with 364 neonates enrolled (of 726 planned). This report focuses on safety and NICU deaths by marginal comparisons of 72 hours’ vs 120 hours’ duration and 33.5°C depth vs 32.0°C depth (predefined secondary outcomes).
The NICU death rates were 7 of 95 neonates (7%) for the 33.5°C for 72 hours group, 13 of 90 neonates (14%) for the 32.0°C for 72 hours group, 15 of 96 neonates (16%) for the 33.5°C for 120 hours group, and 14 of 83 neonates (17%) for the 32.0°C for 120 hours group. The adjusted risk ratio (RR) for NICU deaths for the 120 hours group vs 72 hours group was 1.37 (95% CI, 0.92–2.04) and for the 32.0°C group vs 33.5°C group was 1.24 (95% CI, 0.69–2.25). Safety outcomes were similar between the 120 hours group vs 72 hours group and the 32.0°C group vs 33.5°C group, except major bleeding occurred among 1% in the 120 hours group vs 3% in the 72 hours group (RR, 0.25 [95% CI, 0.07–0.91]). Futility analysis determined that the probability of detecting a statistically significant benefit for longer cooling, deeper cooling, or both for NICU death was less than 2%.
Among neonates who were full-term with moderate or severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, longer cooling, deeper cooling, or both compared with hypothermia at 33.5°C for 72 hours did not reduce NICU death. These results have implications for patient care and design of future trials.
PMCID: PMC4335311  PMID: 25536254
12.  Assessment of brain tissue injury after moderate hypothermia in neonates with hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy: a nested substudy of a randomised controlled trial 
Lancet Neurology  2010;9(1):39-45.
Moderate hypothermia in neonates with hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy might improve survival and neurological outcomes at up to 18 months of age, although complete neurological assessment at this age is difficult. To ascertain more precisely the effect of therapeutic hypothermia on neonatal cerebral injury, we assessed cerebral lesions on MRI scans of infants who participated in the Total Body Hypothermia for Neonatal Encephalopathy (TOBY) trial.
In the TOBY trial hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy was graded clinically according to the changes seen on amplitude integrated EEG, and infants were randomly assigned to intensive care with or without cooling by central telephone randomisation. The relation between allocation to hypothermia or normothermia and cerebral lesions was assessed by logistic regression with perinatal factors as covariates, and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were calculated. The TOBY trial is registered, number ISRCTN 89547571.
325 infants were recruited in the TOBY trial between 2002 and 2006. Images were available for analysis from 131 infants. Therapeutic hypothermia was associated with a reduction in lesions in the basal ganglia or thalamus (OR 0·36, 95% CI 0·15–0·84; p=0·02), white matter (0·30, 0·12–0·77; p=0·01), and abnormal posterior limb of the internal capsule (0·38, 0·17–0·85; p=0·02). Compared with non-cooled infants, cooled infants had fewer scans that were predictive of later neuromotor abnormalities (0·41, 0·18–0·91; p=0·03) and were more likely to have normal scans (2·81, 1·13–6·93; p=0·03). The accuracy of prediction by MRI of death or disability to 18 months of age was 0·84 (0·74–0·94) in the cooled group and 0·81 (0·71–0·91) in the non-cooled group.
Therapeutic hypothermia decreases brain tissue injury in infants with hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy. The predictive value of MRI for subsequent neurological impairment is not affected by therapeutic hypothermia.
UK Medical Research Council; UK Department of Health.
PMCID: PMC2795146  PMID: 19896902
13.  Hypocarbia and Adverse Outcome in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 
The Journal of pediatrics  2010;158(5):752-758.e1.
To evaluate the association between early hypocarbia and 18-22 month outcome among neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Study design
Data from the NICHD NRN randomized controlled trial of whole body hypothermia for neonatal HIE were used for this secondary observational study. Infants (n=204) had multiple blood gases recorded from birth-12h of study intervention (hypothermia vs. intensive care alone). The relationship between hypocarbia and outcome (death/disability at 18-22 months) was evaluated by unadjusted and adjusted analyses examining minimum PCO2 and cumulative exposure to PCO2 <35 mmHg. The relationship between cumulative PCO2 <35 mmHg (calculated as the difference between 35mmHg and the sampled PCO2 multiplied by the duration of time spent <35 mmHg) and outcome was evaluated by level of exposure (none-high) using a multiple logistic regression analysis with adjustments for pH, level of encephalopathy, treatment group (± hypothermia), time to spontaneous respiration and ventilator days; results were expressed as OR and 95% confidence intervals. Alternative models of CO2 concentration were explored to account for fluctuations in CO2.
Both minimum PCO2 and cumulative PCO2 <35mmHg were associated with poor outcome (P<0.05). Moreover, death/disability increased with greater cumulative exposure to PCO2 <35mmHg.
Hypocarbia is associated with poor outcome following HIE.
PMCID: PMC3229432  PMID: 21146184
hypocarbia; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; whole body hypothermia; outcome; neurodevelopmental impairment
14.  Effect of inborn vs. outborn delivery on neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy: secondary analyses of the NICHD whole-body cooling trial 
Pediatric research  2012;72(4):414-419.
The effect of birth location on hypothermia-related outcomes has not been rigorously examined in the literature. In this study, we determined whether birth location had an impact on the benefits of whole-body cooling to 33.5 °C for 72 h in term infants (n = 208) with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) who participated in the Neonatal Research Network (NRN) randomized controlled trial.
Heterogeneity by birth location was examined with respect to cooling treatment for the 18-mo primary outcomes (death, moderate disability, severe disability) and secondary outcomes (death, components of disability), and in-hospital organ dysfunction. Logistic regression models were used to generate adjusted odds ratios.
Infants bom at a location other than an NRN center (outborn) (n = 93) experienced significant delays in initiation of therapy (mean (SD): 5.5 (1.1) vs. 4.4 (1.2) h), lower baseline temperatures (36.6 (1.2) vs. 37.1 (0.9) °C), and more severe HIE (43 vs. 29%) than infants born in an NRN center (inborn) (n = 115). Maternal education <12 y (50 vs. 14%) and African-American ethnicity (43 vs. 25%) were more common in the inborn group. When adjusted for NRN center and HIE severity, there were no significant differences in 18-mo outcomes or in-hospital organ dysfunction between inborn and outborn infants.
Although limited by sample size and some differences in baseline characteristics, the study showed that birth location does not appear to modify the treatment effect of hypothermia after HIE.
PMCID: PMC3730811  PMID: 22914450
15.  Early Antioxidant Treatment and Delayed Hypothermia After Hypoxia-Ischemia Have No Additive Neuroprotection in Newborn Pigs 
Anesthesia and analgesia  2012;115(3):627-637.
The implementation and clinical efficacy of hypothermia in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) encephalopathy are limited, in part, by the delay in instituting hypothermia and access to equipment. In a piglet model of HI, half of the neurons in putamen already showed ischemic cytopathology by 6 hours of recovery. We tested the hypothesis that treatment with the superoxide dismutase-catalase mimetic EUK-134 at 30 minutes of recovery provides additive neuronal protection when combined with one day of whole body hypothermia implemented 4 hours after resuscitation.
Anesthetized piglets were subjected to 40 minutes of hypoxia (10% inspired oxygen) followed by 7 minutes of airway occlusion and resuscitation. Body temperature was maintained at 38.5°C in normothermic groups and at 34°C in hypothermic groups. All groups were mechanically ventilated, sedated, and received muscle relaxants during the first day of recovery. Neuropathology was assessed by profile and stereological cell counting methods.
At 10 days of recovery, neuronal viability in putamen of a normothermic group treated with saline vehicle was reduced to 17±6% (±95% confidence interval) of the value in a sham-operated control group (100±15%). Intravenous infusion of EUK-134 (2.5 mg/kg at 30 minutes of recovery + 1.25 mg/kg/h until 4 hours of recovery) with normothermic recovery resulted in 40±12% viable neurons in putamen. Treatment with saline vehicle followed by delayed hypothermia resulted in partial protection (46±15%). Combining early EUK-134 treatment with delayed hypothermia also produced partial protection (47±18%) that was not significantly greater than single treatment with EUK-134 (confidence interval of difference: −15% to 29%) or delayed hypothermia (−16% to 19%). Furthermore, no additive neuroprotection was detected in caudate nucleus or parasagittal neocortex, where neuronal loss was less severe.
We conclude that early treatment with this antioxidant does not substantially enhance the therapeutic benefit of delayed hypothermia in protecting highly vulnerable neurons in HI-insulted newborns, possibly because basal ganglia neurons are already undergoing irreversible cell death signaling by the time EUK-134 is administered or because this compound and hypothermia attenuate similar mechanisms of injury.
PMCID: PMC3425722  PMID: 22745113
16.  Therapeutic Hypothermia for Neonatal Encephalopathy 
Opinion statement
Neonatal Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in full term infants has been associated with a high risk for morbidity and mortality. The patho-physiology of brain injury following hypoxia-ischemia, noted in preclinical models, is a cascade of events resulting from excitotoxic and oxidative injury culminating in cell death. Hypothermia has been noted to be protective by inhibiting various events in the cascade of injury. Major randomized clinical trials in neonatal HIE have demonstrated reduction in death and disability and continued safety and efficacy of neuroprotection in childhood. There is now clinical and imaging evidence for hypothermia as neuroprotection. Hypothermia should be offered to term infants with either severe acidosis at birth or resuscitation needing continued ventilation and evidence of either moderate or severe encephalopathy within 6 hours of birth. The target temperature should be 33° to 34 °C and duration of cooling should be 72 hours, as per the published trials. Rewarming should be slow, at 0.5 °C per hour. Infants should have serial neurological examinations during and at the end of cooling and at discharge. Multiorgan function should be supported and hypocarbia should be avoided during ventilator therapy. If available, the amplitude integrated EEG should be obtained prior to cooling and following rewarming. All infants should have magnetic resonance brain imaging studies within 1 to 2 weeks of age. Information from the neurological examination, aEEG and MRI studies will be helpful in discussing prognosis with parents. All infants should be followed for a minimum of 18 months to evaluate growth parameters and neurodevelopment al outcome.
PMCID: PMC3519960  PMID: 23007949
Therapeutic hypothermia; Neonatal encephalopathy; Term infants; Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; Pathophysiology; Neurodevelopmental outcome; Neuroprotection; Head cooling; Whole body cooling; Randomized controlled trials; Knowledge gaps; Adjuvant therapies; Treatment
17.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medication in asphyxiated newborns during controlled hypothermia. The PharmaCool multicenter study 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:45.
In the Netherlands, perinatal asphyxia (severe perinatal oxygen shortage) necessitating newborn resuscitation occurs in at least 200 of the 180–185.000 newly born infants per year. International randomized controlled trials have demonstrated an improved neurological outcome with therapeutic hypothermia. During hypothermia neonates receive sedative, analgesic, anti-epileptic and antibiotic drugs. So far little information is available how the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of these drugs are influenced by post resuscitation multi organ failure and the metabolic effects of the cooling treatment itself. As a result, evidence based dosing guidelines are lacking. This multicenter observational cohort study was designed to answer the question how hypothermia influences the distribution, metabolism and elimination of commonly used drugs in neonatal intensive care.
Multicenter cohort study. All term neonates treated with hypothermia for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) resulting from perinatal asphyxia in all ten Dutch Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) will be eligible for this study. During hypothermia and rewarming blood samples will be taken from indwelling catheters to investigate blood concentrations of several antibiotics, analgesics, sedatives and anti-epileptic drugs. For each individual drug the population PK will be characterized using Nonlinear Mixed Effects Modelling (NONMEM). It will be investigated how clearance and volume of distribution are influenced by hypothermia also taking maturation of neonate into account. Similarly, integrated PK-PD models will be developed relating the time course of drug concentration to pharmacodynamic parameters such as successful seizure treatment; pain assessment and infection clearance.
On basis of the derived population PK-PD models dosing guidelines will be developed for the application of drugs during neonatal hypothermia treatment. The results of this study will lead to an evidence based drug treatment of hypothermic neonatal patients. Results will be published in a national web based evidence based paediatric formulary, peer reviewed journals and international paediatric drug references.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3358232  PMID: 22515424
Perinatal asphyxia, Therapeutic hypothermia; Pharmacokinetic research; Drug monitoring; Evidence based; Drug dosing; Guideline
18.  Heart Rate and Arterial Pressure Changes during Whole-Body Deep Hypothermia 
ISRN Pediatrics  2013;2013:140213.
Whole-body deep hypothermia (DH) could be a new therapeutic strategy for asphyxiated newborn. This retrospective study describes how DH modified the heart rate and arterial blood pressure if compared to mild hypothermia (MH). Fourteen in DH and 17 in MH were cooled within the first six hours of life and for the following 72 hours. Hypothermia criteria were gestational age ≥36 weeks; birth weight ≥1800 g; clinical signs of moderate/severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Rewarming was obtained in the following 6–12 hours (0.5°C/h) after cooling. Heart rates were the same between the two groups; there was statistically significant difference at the beginning of hypothermia and during rewarming. Three babies in the DH group and 2 in the MH group showed HR < 80 bpm and QTc > 520 ms. Infant submitted to deep hypothermia had not bradycardia or Qtc elongation before cooling and after rewarming. Blood pressure was significantly lower in DH compared to MH during the cooling, and peculiar was the hypotension during rewarming in DH group. Conclusion. The deeper hypothermia is a safe and feasible, only if it is performed by a well-trained team. DH should only be associated with a clinical trial and prospective randomized trials to validate its use.
PMCID: PMC3649319  PMID: 23691350
19.  Neonatal Neurobehavioral Abnormalities and MRI Brain Injury in Encephalopathic Newborns Treated With Hypothermia 
Early human development  2013;89(9):733-737.
Neonatal Encephalopathy (NE) is a prominent cause of infant mortality and neurodevelopmental disability. Hypothermia is an effective neuroprotective therapy for newborns with encephalopathy. Post-hypothermia functional-anatomical correlation between neonatal neurobehavioral abnormalities and brain injury findings on MRI in encephalopathic newborns has not been previously described.
To evaluate the relationship between neonatal neurobehavioral abnormalities and brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in encephalopathic newborns treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
Study Design
Neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) referred for therapeutic hypothermia were prospectively enrolled in this observational study. Neurobehavioral functioning was assessed with the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) performed at target age 14 days. Brain injury was assessed by MRI at target age 7–10 days. NNNS scores were compared between infants with and without severe MRI injury.
Subjects & Outcome Measures
Sixty-eight term newborns (62% males) with moderate to severe encephalopathy underwent MRI at median 8 days (range 5–16) and NNNS at median 12 days of life (range 5–20). Fifteen (22%) had severe injury on MRI.
Overall Total Motor Abnormality Score and individual summary scores for Nonoptimal Reflexes and Asymmetry were higher, while Total NNNS Z-score across cognitive/behavioral domains was lower (reflecting poorer performance) in infants with compared to those without severe MRI injury (p<0.05).
Neonatal neurobehavioral abnormalities identified by the NNNS are associated with MRI brain injury in encephalopathic newborns post-hypothermia. The NNNS can provide an early functional assessment of structural brain injury in newborns, which may guide rehabilitative therapies in infants after perinatal brain injury.
PMCID: PMC3780358  PMID: 23787090
20.  The TOBY Study. Whole body hypothermia for the treatment of perinatal asphyxial encephalopathy: A randomised controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:17.
A hypoxic-ischaemic insult occurring around the time of birth may result in an encephalopathic state characterised by the need for resuscitation at birth, neurological depression, seizures and electroencephalographic abnormalities. There is an increasing risk of death or neurodevelopmental abnormalities with more severe encephalopathy. Current management consists of maintaining physiological parameters within the normal range and treating seizures with anticonvulsants.
Studies in adult and newborn animals have shown that a reduction of body temperature of 3–4°C after cerebral insults is associated with improved histological and behavioural outcome. Pilot studies in infants with encephalopathy of head cooling combined with mild whole body hypothermia and of moderate whole body cooling to 33.5°C have been reported. No complications were noted but the group sizes were too small to evaluate benefit.
TOBY is a multi-centre, prospective, randomised study of term infants after perinatal asphyxia comparing those allocated to "intensive care plus total body cooling for 72 hours" with those allocated to "intensive care without cooling".
Full-term infants will be randomised within 6 hours of birth to either a control group with the rectal temperature kept at 37 +/- 0.2°C or to whole body cooling, with rectal temperature kept at 33–34°C for 72 hours. Term infants showing signs of moderate or severe encephalopathy +/- seizures have their eligibility confirmed by cerebral function monitoring. Outcomes will be assessed at 18 months of age using neurological and neurodevelopmental testing methods.
Sample size
At least 236 infants would be needed to demonstrate a 30% reduction in the relative risk of mortality or serious disability at 18 months.
Recruitment was ahead of target by seven months and approvals were obtained allowing recruitment to continue to the end of the planned recruitment phase. 325 infants were recruited.
Primary outcome
Combined rate of mortality and severe neurodevelopmental impairment in survivors at 18 months of age. Neurodevelopmental impairment will be defined as any of:
• Bayley mental developmental scale score less than 70
• Gross Motor Function Classification System Levels III – V
• Bilateral cortical visual impairments
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89547571
PMCID: PMC2409316  PMID: 18447921
21.  Predictive Value of an Early Amplitude Integrated Electroencephalogram and Neurologic Examination 
Pediatrics  2011;128(1):e112-e120.
To examine the predictive validity of the amplitude integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) and stage of encephalopathy among infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) eligible for therapeutic whole-body hypothermia.
Neonates were eligible for this prospective study if moderate or severe HIE occurred at <6 hours and an aEEG was obtained at <9 hours of age. The primary outcome was death or moderate/severe disability at 18 months.
There were 108 infants (71 with moderate HIE and 37 with severe HIE) enrolled in the study. aEEG findings were categorized as normal, with continuous normal voltage (n = 12) or discontinuous normal voltage (n = 12), or abnormal, with burst suppression (n = 22), continuous low voltage (n = 26), or flat tracing (n = 36). At 18 months, 53 infants (49%) experienced death or disability. Severe HIE and an abnormal aEEG were related to the primary outcome with univariate analysis, whereas severe HIE alone was predictive of outcome with multivariate analysis. Addition of aEEG pattern to HIE stage did not add to the predictive value of the model; the area under the curve changed from 0.72 to 0.75 (P = .19).
The aEEG background pattern did not significantly enhance the value of the stage of encephalopathy at study entry in predicting death and disability among infants with HIE.
PMCID: PMC3124102  PMID: 21669899
neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; amplitude integrated EEG
22.  Effects of combination therapy using hypothermia and erythropoietin in a rat model of neonatal hypoxia–ischemia 
Pediatric research  2012;73(1):12-17.
Hypoxic–ischemic (HI) injury to the developing brain remains a major cause of morbidity. Hypothermia is effective but does not provide complete neuroprotection, prompting a search for adjunctive therapies. Erythropoietin (Epo) has been shown to be beneficial in several models of neonatal HI. This study examines combination hypothermia and treatment with erythropoietin in neonatal rat HI.
Rats at postnatal day 7 were subjected to HI (Vannucci model) and randomized into four groups: no treatment, hypothermia alone, Epo alone, or hypothermia and Epo. Epo (1,000 U/kg) was administered in three doses: immediately following HI, and 24 h and 1 wk later. Hypothermia consisted of whole-body cooling for 8 h. At 2 and 6 wk following HI, sensorimotor function was assessed via cylinder-rearing test and brain damage by injury scoring. Sham-treated animals not subjected to HI were also studied.
Differences between experimental groups, except for Epo treatment on histopathological outcome in males, were not statistically significant, and combined therapy had no adverse effects.
No significant benefit was observed from treatment with either hypothermia or combination therapy. Future studies may require older animals, a wider range of functional assays, and postinsult assessment of injury severity to identify only moderately damaged animals for targeted therapy.
PMCID: PMC3540182  PMID: 23085817
23.  Apgar scores at 10 min and outcomes at 6–7 years following hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy 
To determine the association between 10 min Apgar scores and 6–7-year outcomes in children with perinatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network (NICHD NRN) whole body cooling randomised controlled trial (RCT).
Evaluations at 6–7 years included the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence III or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV and Gross Motor Functional Classification Scale. Primary outcome was death/moderate or severe disability. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between 10 min Apgar scores and outcomes after adjusting for birth weight, gestational age, gender, outborn status, hypothermia treatment and centre.
In the study cohort (n=174), 64/85 (75%) of those with 10 min Apgar score of 0–3 had death/disability compared with 40/89 (45%) of those with scores >3. Each point increase in 10 min Apgar scores was associated with a significantly lower adjusted risk of death/disability, death, death/IQ <70, death/cerebral palsy (CP) and disability, IQ<70 and CP among survivors (all p<0.05). Among the 24 children with a 10 min Apgar score of 0, five (20.8%) survived without disability. The risk-adjusted probabilities of death/disability were significantly lower in cooled infants with Apgar scores of 0–3; there was no significant interaction between cooling and Apgar scores (p=0.26).
Among children with perinatal HIE enrolled in the NICHD cooling RCT, 10 min Apgar scores were significantly associated with school-age outcomes. A fifth of infants with 10 min Apgar score of 0 survived without disability to school age, suggesting the need for caution in limiting resuscitation to a specified duration.
PMCID: PMC4166405  PMID: 23896791
24.  Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Therapeutic Hypothermia in Animal Models of Spinal Cord Injury 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71317.
Therapeutic hypothermia is a clinically useful neuroprotective therapy for cardiac arrest and neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and may potentially be useful for the treatment of other neurological conditions including traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). The pre-clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of hypothermia in acute SCI broadly utilise either systemic hypothermia or cooling regional to the site of injury. The literature has not been uniformly positive with conflicting studies of varying quality, some performed decades previously.
In this study, we systematically review and meta-analyse the literature to determine the efficacy of systemic and regional hypothermia in traumatic SCI, the experimental conditions influencing this efficacy, and the influence of study quality on outcome. Three databases were utilised; PubMed, ISI Web of Science and Embase. Our inclusion criteria consisted of the (i) reporting of efficacy of hypothermia on functional outcome (ii) number of animals and (iii) mean outcome and variance in each group.
Systemic hypothermia improved behavioural outcomes by 24.5% (95% CI 10.2 to 38.8) and a similar magnitude of improvement was seen across a number of high quality studies. The overall behavioural improvement with regional hypothermia was 26.2%, but the variance was wide (95% CI −3.77 to 56.2). This result may reflect a preponderance of positive low quality data, although a preferential effect of hypothermia in ischaemic models of injury may explain some of the disparate data. Sufficient heterogeneity was present between studies of regional hypothermia to reveal a number of factors potentially influencing efficacy, including depth and duration of hypothermia, animal species, and neurobehavioural assessment. However, these factors could reflect the influence of earlier lower quality literature.
Systemic hypothermia appears to be a promising potential method of treating acute SCI on the basis of meta-analysis of the pre-clinical literature and the results of high quality animal studies.
PMCID: PMC3739756  PMID: 23951131
25.  Volumetric and Anatomic MRI for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Relationship to Hypothermia Therapy and Neurosensory Impairments 
To relate volumetric MRI findings to hypothermia therapy and neurosensory impairments.
Study Design
Newborns ≥ 36 weeks’ gestation with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy who participated in the NICHD hypothermia randomized trial at our center were eligible. We determined the relationship between hypothermia treatment and usual care (control) to absolute and relative cerebral tissue volumes. Further, we correlated brain volumes with death or neurosensory impairments at 18 to 22 months.
Both treatment groups were comparable before randomization. Total brain tissue volumes did not differ in relation to treatment assignment. However, relative volumes of subcortical white matter were significantly larger in hypothermia-treated than control infants. Furthermore, relative total brain volumes correlated significantly with death or neurosensory impairments. Relative volumes of the cortical gray and subcortical white matter also correlated significantly with Bayley Scales psychomotor development index.
Selected volumetric MRI findings correlated with hypothermia therapy and neurosensory impairments. Larger studies utilizing MRI brain volumes as a secondary outcome measure are needed.
PMCID: PMC2740332  PMID: 19020525
hypoxia-ischemia, brain; hypothermia, induced; magnetic resonance imaging; cerebral palsy; outcome assessment

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