Hypothermia to Prevent High Intracranial Pressure in Patients With Acute Liver Failure

2014-08-26 22:30:58 | BioPortfolio


Treatment options in patients with high intracranial pressure due to acute liver failure are limited. This study intends to evaluate the effect of prophylactic hypothermia on preventing high intracranial pressure and compromised cerebral oxidative metabolism.


Acute liver failure (ALF) is associated with a high mortality. With severe hepatic encephalopathy and elevated arterial ammonia concentration (< 200 micromol/L) more than 50% of the patients will develop high intracranial pressure (ICP) and risk cerebral incarceration and death. The therapeutic options are limited in treating and preventing this condition and new interventions are much sought after. As in hypothermia used for patients after cardiac resuscitation it could be speculated that hypothermia and the reduced cerebral metabolic rate would contribute to neuroprotection and reduce the risk of cerebral hypertension in patients with ALF. We have designed this open, randomized and unblinded study in order to evaluate the effect of prophylactic hypothermia on ICP, cerebral hemodynamics and oxidative metabolism. Patients are randomized to standard medical treatment (SMT) or SMT and hypothermia 33° C for 72 hours using a cooling mattress (Blanketrol II, Cincinnati Sub-Zero). All patients will receive mechanical ventilation, antibiotics, inotropic support and monitored with invasive and non-invasive equipment in accordance to local guidelines. In Copenhagen monitoring cerebral hemodynamics includes:

Placement of a intracranial pressure measuring catheter (Camino (R), Integra) for monitoring ICP. Furthermore, a microdialysis catheter (CMA-70) placed in brain cortex is used for monitoring brain metabolism. Finally, cerebral perfusion can be monitored by measuring mean flow velocity using transcranial doppler and/or SvjO2.

Ethical considerations:

The Helsinki II declaration will be followed and informed consent is mandatory for enrollment. In any patient where hypothermia is believed or suspected to be harmful the study should be stopped and the primary investigator should be notified immediately. All adverse effects will be recorded and published together with the full paper.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Acute Liver Failure


Hypothermia by the use of Blanketrol II, Cincinnati Sub-Zero


Division of Hepatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
United States




Rigshospitalet, Denmark

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-26T22:30:58-0400

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