Although targeted temperature management (TTM) may mitigate brain injury for severe subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), rebound fever correlates with poor outcomes.
To study the effect of endovascular TTM after rewarming from initial surface cooling during a high-risk period for delayed cerebral ischemia.
We studied patients with World Federation of Neurological Surgeons grade V SAH before and after the introduction of endovascular TTM. Both groups (36 patients each) were treated with TTM at 34 °C with conventional surface cooling immediately after SAH diagnosis, together with emergency aneurysm repair. When rewarmed to 36 °C, around 7 days later, the study group underwent TTM at 36 to 38 °C for 7 days with an endovascular cooling system. The control group was treated with antipyretics.
Sex, age, Glasgow Coma Scale score, modified Fisher computed tomography classification, aneurysm location, and treatment methods were not different between the study and control groups. Differences were detected in the incidence of fever >38 °C (13 vs 26 patients, P = .0021), duration of fever >38 °C (4.1 vs 18.8 hours, P = .0021), incidence of vasospasm-related cerebral infarction (17% vs 42%, P = .037), and the likelihood of excellent outcomes (0 and 1 on a modified Rankin Scale) at 6 months (42% vs 17%, P = .037). In endovascular TTM, shivering occurred more frequently in patients with better outcomes, requiring aggressive treatment to avoid fever.
Endovascular TTM at 36 to 38 °C after surface cooling was feasible and safely performed in patients with severe SAH. Combined TTM for 2 weeks was associated with a lower incidence of vasospasm-related infarction and may improve outcomes.