Targeted Temperature Management Using Esophageal Cooling

Cedar Morrow Anderson, Christopher Joseph, Rick Fisher, Donald Berry, J. Brad Diestelhorst, Christine Kulstad, Marvin Wayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although specific temperature targets are debated, targeted temperature management (TTM) is a common treatment for postcardiac arrest patients. However, consistently implementing a TTM protocol is challenging, especially in a community hospital. Often, the protocols described in the literature include labor- and cost-intensive methods that are not feasible or sustainable in many health care settings. Esophageal temperature management (ETM) is a TTM method that can be easily utilized alone or combined with surface methods. We sought to evaluate ETM in a cohort of patients treated with TTM after cardiac arrest. Chart reviews were conducted of all patients treated with ETM after cardiac arrest at our community medical center. Initial patient temperature, time to target, supplemental methods (water blankets, chest wraps, or head wraps), and patient survival were extracted for analysis. A total of 54 patients were treated from August 2016 to November 2018; 30 received ETM only, 22 received supplemental cooling, and 2 had treatment discontinued before reaching target due to recovery. Target temperatures ranged from 32°C to 36°C, depending on provider preference. The median time to target temperature for the entire cohort was 219 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 81-415). For the cohorts without, and with, supplemental cooling modalities, the median time to attain target temperature was 128 minutes (IQR 71-334), and 285 minutes (IQR 204-660), respectively. Survival to intensive care unit discharge was 51.9% for the entire cohort. Survivors exhibited longer times to achieve goal temperature (median 180 minutes in nonsurvivors vs. 255 minutes in survivors). ETM attains target temperature at a rate consistent with current guidelines and with similar performance to alternative modalities. As in other studies, surviving patients required longer times to reach target temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalTherapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • esophageal cooling
  • targeted temperature management
  • therapeutic hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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