Skip to main content


Review article about temperature management following cardiac arrest published in NEJM

(Vienna, 23 September 2010) Following the publication of a study on the success of cooling treatment in patients following cardiac arrest by Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Michael Holzer in the internationally renowned medical journal NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) back in 2002, this journal is now also publishing his review article on the correct temperature management.In industrialised countries about 100 to 200 patients per 100,000 inhabitants suffer acute cardiac arrest every year. This deprives the brain of oxygen which, in most cases, leads to more or less pronounced neurological defects. Holzer and his staff were able to prove in 2002 that moderate cooling treatment (therapeutic hypothermia – targeted temperature management) of affected patients following resuscitation has a positive impact on the regeneration of the affected areas, as further damage as part of the so-called "post-resuscitation syndrome" is prevented.In the series "Clinical Therapeutics" the internationally renowned medical journal "New England Journal of Medicine" (NEJM) has now published a review article by Holzer which describes targeted temperature management for coma patients following cardiac arrest. The article discusses clinical problems and the advantages of "cooling treatment" and also describes the most important relevant studies conducted to this day. In addition, Holzer analyses the application of this therapy in everyday clinical practice as well as possible negative effects to conclude with formal guidelines and recommendations on how to handle temperature management in practice.Says Holzer about his work: "Despite recommendations in current resuscitation guidelines, cooling treatment is still used far too little. The review which has now been published mainly aims to make it easier for clinically active physicians to apply this important therapy in the future for all unconscious patients following cardiac and circulatory arrest. This therapy is really extremely effective and currently the only way to improve the neurological outcome and survival following cardiac and circulatory arrest."  The Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna is one of the leading centres for research on therapeutic hypothermia. The Department boasts experience in particular in the organisation of major trials in the field of resuscitation research including the "Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest (HACA)" study.