Magnitude of temperature elevation is associated with neurologic and survival outcomes in resuscitated cardiac arrest patients with postrewarming pyrexia☆,☆☆

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Avoidance of pyrexia is recommended in resuscitation guidelines, including after treatment with targeted temperature management (TTM). Which aspects of postresuscitation pyrexia are harmful and modifiable have not been conclusively determined.

Materials and methods:

This retrospective multicenter registry study collected serial temperatures during 72 hours postrewarming to assess the relationship between 3 aspects of pyrexia (maximum temperature, pyrexia duration, timing of first pyrexia) and neurologic outcome (primary) and survival (secondary) at hospital discharge. Adult TTM-treated patients from 13 US hospitals between 2005 and 2015 were included.


One hundred seventy-nine of 465 patients had at least 1 temperature greater than or equal to 38°C. Pyrexic temperatures were associated with better survival than nonpyrexic temperatures (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-2.35). Higher maximum temperature was associated with worse outcome (neurologic aOR, 0.30 [95% CI, 0.10-0.84]; survival aOR, 0.25 [95% CI, 0.10-0.59]) in pyrexic patients. There was no significant relationship between pyrexia duration and outcomes unless duration was calculated as hours greater than or equal to 38.8°C, when longer duration was associated with worse outcomes (neurologic aOR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.75-1.00]; survival aOR, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.72-0.93]).


In postarrest TTM-treated patients, pyrexia was associated with increased survival. Patients experiencing postrewarming pyrexia had worse outcomes at higher temperatures. Longer pyrexia duration was associated with worse outcomes at higher temperatures.

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