UMEM Educational Pearls

Predicting Neurologic Outcome in Patients Treated with TTM

  • Whether you target 36oC or 33oC, targeted temperature management (TTM) improves survival and long-term neurologic oucome in survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
  • TTM, however, can affect the accuracy and timing of commonly used tests to predict poor neurologic outcome.
  • Golan, et al just published a meta-analysis evaluating the accuracy of select diagnostic tests to predict outcome in patients treated with TTM.
    • 20 studies (1,845 patients)
    • Most accurate tests to predict poor neurologic outcome were:
      • Bilaterally absent pupillary reflex (LR 10.45)
      • Bilaterally absent somatosensory-evoked potentials (LR 12.79)
    • Specificity of tests improved when testing was delayed > 72 hours
    • Other commonly used tests (i.e., corneal reflexes, GCS motor score, unfavorable EEG readings) had higher false positive rates and lower LRs


Golan E, et al. Predicting neurologic outcome after targeted temperature management for cardiac arrest: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Care Med 2014; 42:1919-30.