PURPOSE: Targeted temperature management (TTM) is a standard of care in patients after cardiac arrest for neuroprotection. Currently, the effectiveness and efficacy of TTM after extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) is unknown. We aimed to compare neurological and survival outcomes between TTM vs non-TTM in patients undergoing ECPR for refractory cardiac arrest.
METHODS: We searched PubMed and 5 other databases for randomized controlled trials and observational studies reporting neurological outcomes or survival in adult patients undergoing ECPR with or without TTM. Good neurological outcome was defined as cerebral performance category <3. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to pool data.
RESULTS: We included 35 studies (n = 2,643) with the median age of 56 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 52-59). The median time from collapse to ECMO cannulation was 58 minutes (IQR: 49-82) and the median ECMO duration was 3 days (IQR: 2.0-4.1). Of 2,643, 1,329 (50.3%) patients received TTM and 1,314 (49.7%) did not. There was no difference in the frequency of good neurological outcome at any time between TTM (29%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 23%-36%) vs. without TTM (19%, 95% CI: 9%-31%) in patients with ECPR (P = 0.09). Similarly, there was no difference in overall survival between patients with TTM (30%, 95% CI: 22%-39%) vs. without TTM (24%, 95% CI: 14%-34%) (P = 0.31). A cumulative meta-analysis by publication year showed improved neurological and survival outcomes over time.
CONCLUSIONS: Among ECPR patients, survival and neurological outcome were not different between those with TTM vs. without TTM. Our study suggests that neurological and survival outcome are improving over time as ECPR therapy is more widely used. Our results were limited by the heterogeneity of included studies and further research with granular temperature data is necessary to assess the benefit and risk of TTM in ECPR population.