Prolonged Local Hypothermia Has No Long-Term Adverse Effect on the Spinal Cord

Ashwati Vipin, Jukka Kortelainen, Hasan Al-Nashash, Soo Min Chua, Xinyuan Thow, Janani Manivannan, Astrid, Nitish V. Thakor, Candace L. Kerr, Angelo H. All

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hypothermia is known to be neuroprotective and is one of the most effective and promising first-line treatments for central nervous system (CNS) trauma. At present, induction of local hypothermia, as opposed to general hypothermia, is more desired because of its ease of application and safety; fewer side effects and an absence of severe complications have been noted. Local hypothermia involves temperature reduction of a small and specific segment of the spinal cord. Our group has previously shown the neuroprotective effect of short-term, acute moderate general hypothermia through improvements in electrophysiological and motor behavioral assessments, as well as histological examination following contusive spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. We have also shown the benefit of using short-term local hypothermia versus short-term general hypothermia post-acute SCI. The overall neuroprotective benefit of hypothermia can be categorized into three main components: (1) induction modality, general versus local, (2) invasive, semi-invasive or noninvasive, and (3) duration of hypothermia induction. In this study, a series of experiments were designed to investigate the feasibility, long-term safety, as well as eventual complications and side effects of prolonged, semi-invasive, moderate local hypothermia (30°C±0.5°C for 5 and 8 hours) in rats with uninjured spinal cord while maintaining their core temperature at 37°C±0.5°C. The weekly somatosensory evoked potential and motor behavioral (Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan) assessments of rats that underwent 5 and 8 hours of semi-invasive local hypothermia, which revealed no statistically significant changes in electrical conductivity and behavioral outcomes. In addition, 4 weeks after local hypothermia induction, histological examination showed no anatomical damages or morphological changes in their spinal cord structure and parenchyma. We concluded that this method of prolonged local hypothermia is feasible, safe, and has the potential for clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalTherapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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