• April 2018

    Hypothermia Trial Optimizes Temperature Regulation During Aortic Surgery

As part of a national, multi-center, NIH-sponsored study, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano is comparing the effect of deep, low and moderate hypothermia during aortic arch surgery on post-surgery brain function and functional connectivity. Studies have confirmed the protective effect of induced hypothermia during cardiac surgery, but the new trial will analyze the ideal temperature for hypothermic circulatory arrest in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“We are one of four sites for this study, along with the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Emory Healthcare,” said Michael DiMaio​, MD, Chief of Staff, at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano. “It’s exciting because it puts us with the upper echelon of aortic surgery centers in the country and demonstrates our ability as a leader in the field.”

The trial – Cognitive Effects of Body Temperature During Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest (Hypothermia) – will randomize study participants to deep (less than 20°C), low (20.1-24°C) or moderate (24.1-28°C) hypothermia during aortic arch surgery with circulatory arrest. Previous single-center studies have evaluated temperature regulation in a similar way, but the trial is studying the effects of temperature during hypothermic circulatory arrest on a larger scale.

“We want to determine what the best temperature is to protect the brain and organs during surgery,” said William Brinkman, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Aortic Surgery at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano. “All of the temperature ranges are considered reasonable, but we’re trying to fine-tune a technique. Participants in the study will get quality care no matter what group they are in.”

Patients may be a candidate for the study if they are scheduled for a surgical procedure to repair a complex aortic aneurysm that requires the use of hypothermic circulatory arrest. Following surgery, participants will be evaluated for several outcome measures, including changes in short-term and long-term cognition and neurological function.

The Hypothermia T​​rial is one example of how Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano is bringing advanced technology and research to the hospital to further fine-tune the care options available for each patient. For patients with an aortic aneurysm, the hospital has a dedicated team in place to evaluate options and recommend appropriate treatment, including clinical trials.

“For any patient with an aneurysm of the ascending aorta or the aortic arch, we work to deliver the optimal approach to protect the brain and organs,” Dr. Brinkman said. “This study is part of that goal.”

For more information about the Hypothermia trial, contact Rachelle Winkle, RN, research coordinator, at 469.814.4183 or Rachelle.Winkle@bswhealth.org. For evaluation of patients with aortic aneurysms, read more about care options at the Aortic Center.

Contributing Authors

John Michael DiMaio, MD
Chief of Staff
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital Baylor – Plano

William Brinkman, MD
Medical Director of Thoracic Aortic Surgery
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital Baylor – Plano