Temperature management in acute brain injury: A systematic review of clinical evidence

M. Pegoli, Z. Zurlo, F. Bilotta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Temperature alterations in neurocritical care settings are common and have a striking effect on brain metabolism leading to or exacerbating neuronal injury. Hyperthermia worsens acute brain injury (ABI) patients outcome. However conclusive evidence linking control of temperature to improved outcome is still lacking. This review article report an update -results from clinical studies published between March 2006 and March 2020- on the relationship between hyperthermia or Target Temperature Management and functional outcome or mortality in ABI patients. Materials and methods: A systematic search of articles in PubMed and EMBASE database was accomplished. Only complete studies, published in English in peer-reviewed journals were included. Results: A total of 63 articles into 5 subchapters are presented: acute ischemic stroke (17), subarachnoid hemorrhage (14), brain trauma (14), intracranial hemorrhage (8), and mixed acute brain injury (10). This evidence confirm and extend the negative impact of hyperthermia in ABI patients on worse functional outcome and higher mortality. In particular “early hyperthermia” in AIS patients seems to have a protective role have as promoting factor of clot lysis but no conclusive evidence is available. Normothermic TTM seems to have a positive effect on TBI patients in a reduced mortality rate compared to hypothermic TTM. Conclusions: Hyperthermia in ABI patients is associated with worse functional outcome and higher mortality. The use of normothermic TTM has an established indication only in TBI; further studies are needed to define the role and the indications of normothermic TTM in ABI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106165
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Acute brain injury
  • Hyperthermia
  • Mortality
  • Outcome
  • TTM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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