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Hypothermia Helps Young Heart Patients, Too

April 5, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Young adult patients with genetic heart diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), substantially benefitted from therapeutic hypothermia, which could further extend the role for this treatment strategy in new patient populations.

For patients with HCM, despite rapid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with defibrillation, survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has been unfavorable.

“Therapeutic hypothermia is an effective survival and neuroprotective treatment strategy increasingly employed in unconscious patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and restored spontaneous circulation,” the study’s senior author Barry J. Maron, M.D., director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in Minneapolis, was quoted as saying. “However, there are no reports of therapeutic hypothermia employed in the patients with HCM.”

Retrospectively examining patient records, the researchers found that seven young, asymptomatic patients with HCM (mean age 43), unexpectedly incurred cardiac arrest within a 46-month period and survived after receiving therapeutic hypothermia.

“This success rate was unexpectedly high, especially given the experience with HCM and the CPR/defibrillation era,” Maron said.

Each patient survived with neuroprotection, preserved cognitive function, and intact cardiac function six to 52 months after their event, the researchers reported.

Hypothermia was successful despite HCM risk factors, including marked left ventricular wall thickness of more than 20 mm in six patients, outflow obstruction, asystole initially in one patient, and a long delay to cooling of more than four hours in one patient.

“These findings support the idea of more widespread availability and utilization of therapeutic hypothermia, due to its successful outcomes with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest,” Maron said. “Previous research of therapeutic hypothermia has focused on older patient populations, but this study proves the worth of this technique in younger patients with genetic disease.”

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions held in New Orleans, April 1-3




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