Hypothermia therapy helps young adult patients with genetic heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), says study.
"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," said senior author Barry J. Maron, director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in Minneapolis.
"However, there are no reports of therapeutic hypothermia employed in the patients with HCM," he added.
Retrospectively examining patient records at Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and Tufts Medical Center in Boston, 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.
The researchers found that the response was prompt at both facilities. While several reversible complications occurred, 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 concluded.
The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.