TUCSON, Ariz. – Diamond Children’s at University Medical Center has been chosen to participate in the first, large-scale, multicenter study to explore the use of temperature regulation in infants and children after cardiac arrest.
Diamond Children’s joins 32 centers across the nation for the study, “Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (THAPCA) Trials.” The study at Diamond Children’s will last four years, and funding for the entire multicenter study is $21 million.
The study in Tucson will be led by University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center pediatric intensivist Andreas Theodorou, MD, professor, Department of Pediatrics, and and pediatric intensivist Katri Typpo, MD, MPH, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics. Co-investigators include pediatric neurologist, Janet Teodori, MD, assistant professor, Department of Neurology, and pediatric emergency physician Chad Viscusi, MD, assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine.
This study is funded by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The THAPCA Trials will study the effects of therapeutic hypothermia (body cooling) after pediatric cardiac arrest. This is a tragic event in children associated with high rates of death or long-term disability. The THAPCA trials will include patients from both in-hospital and out-of-hospital populations to determine if hypothermia improves survival with good neurobehavioral outcome after pediatric cardiac arrest.
About Therapeutic Hypothermia
Therapeutic hypothermia (lowering the body temperature) has successfully been used in adults after cardiac arrest to improve survival and outcome. Hypothermia has also been studied in newborn infants who have suffered from perinatal asphyxia, but it has not been studied in infants or children who have had cardiac arrest. During and after cardiac arrest, the body undergoes severe stress. As part of this stress, the body releases toxic compounds that can overwhelm the organs and the brain. These compounds can cause long-term brain injury. It is thought that therapeutic hypothermia may sufficiently slow the body’s production of these compounds, thus preventing brain injury.
In this study, children will be randomized into two groups. One group will receive hypothermia (lower the body temperature). The second group will receive normothermia (maintaining the normal body temperature). Both groups will be kept from fever.
“This is a very important multi-center study, since the answer to the question of therapeutic hypothermia in children is far from answered,” says Dr. Theodorou. “People may have assumed that hypothermia is the right treatment after cardiac arrest, but, this has adequately not been demonstrated. The real enemy of a better outcome may be fever and we will aggressively try to prevent fever in both groups of patients.”
About Diamond Children’s at University Medical Center: Diamond Children’s unites the exceptional pediatric resources and research of the University of Arizona Steele Children's Research Center and University Medical Center to provide advanced health care for our children and their families. Diamond Children’s is a bright, healing environment where families are at home and children feel safe while receiving the advanced care they need from the pediatric specialty physicians and researchers of the UA Steele Center, as well as community pediatric physicians.