Trials evaluate therapeutic cooling of STEMI patients

Inducing therapeutic hypothermia in patients who experience STEMI could ease pressure on ever-shorter door-to-balloon times by interrupting apoptosis, as the treatment has been shown to do in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. "Cooling has two benefits. It slows the metabolism to a crawl so the organs hibernate so you can stop the injury from happening. The second way it helps is it prevents reperfusion injury," said former SCAI President Dr. Christopher White of the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. Animal studies have shown that once body temperature is reduced sufficiently, "door-to-balloon time does not matter anymore because the body is in stasis," White said. Human clinical trials are in progress.

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Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology magazine