Increased body temperatures are common in the acute phase of stroke. Experimental and clinical studies have suggested that increased body temperatures are related to poor outcome. In animal studies of focal cerebral ischemia, early hypothermia consistently reduced infarct volume. Based on these findings, several Phase II clinical trials have been performed to study physical methods to reduce body temperature in patients with acute stroke. The feasibility and safety of these methods have not yet been established with sufficient certainty. Pharmacological lowering of body temperature may be an attractive alternative approach. In guidelines for the treatment of acute stroke, antipyretics are generally recommended to reduce fever, although their effect on functional outcome is unknown. There is currently no evidence from randomized trials to support routine use of physical or pharmacological cooling in acute stroke. Large randomized clinical trials are needed to study the effect of both physical and medical cooling on functional outcome after stroke.

, , , , , ,,
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

den Hertog, H.M, van der Worp, H.B, van Gemert, M, & Dippel, D.W.J. (2007). Therapeutic hypothermia in acute ischemic stroke. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics (Vol. 7, pp. 155–164). doi:10.1586/14737175.7.2.155