Home » UofL pediatrician part of national study on therapeutic hypothermia

UofL pediatrician part of national study on therapeutic hypothermia

Study appears in New England Journal of Medicine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 13, 2015) — Dropping a child’s body temperature following a heart attack does not appear to improve the child’s chance of surviving or their heart function one year after the heart attack, reports a team of physicians that includes Melissa B. Porter, M.D., an associate professor in the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics.

Melissa B. Porter
Melissa B. Porter

The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine. Porter was the principal investigator for the Louisville portion of the national clinical trial. The two participants included in the local portion of the study were seen by Porter at Kosair Children’s Hospital, where she serves as a pediatric intensivist.

While therapeutic hypothermia is recommended for comatose adults after such events, there was limited data about this intervention in children. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, compared data for children who were treated with therapeutic hypothermia with those treated with the existing standard of care. The researchers concluded that therapeutic hypothermia did not offer significant benefit for the children’s survival and functional outcome at one year.

This is the second large-scale, multi-center study involving UofL physicians published in the New England Journal of Medicine this spring, attesting to their increasing status among medical research centers nationwide.

In an earlier study, published March 5, 2015 in the journal, Charles R. Woods, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist and acting chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics, participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Valganciclovir therapy in newborns with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease.

CMV is the leading nongenetic cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Woods tested patients at Kosair Children’s Hospital over a three-year period, comparing a six-week period of treatment with the drug to six-month treatment. The researchers concluded that treatment with the drug for six months provided modest long-term improvements in hearing and development over the six-week treatment.