Influence of temperature on ischemic brain: Basic and clinical principles

In the last decades, the interest in the association between body temperature and stroke outcome has reemerged, and the use of animal models has made it possible to know the underlying pathogenic mechanisms involved, most of them with pending confirmation in human clinics. In this work, we will review the effects of hyperthermia and hypothermia and its pathogenesis on ischemic stroke, and the evidence of the efficacy and safety of anti-hyperthermic and hypothermic treatments. We will describe how treatment of hyperthermia on ischemic stroke patients, improves patient comfort and outcome, both in the short and the long term, but new clinical studies are needed in this field. Despite the theoretical and experimental bases in favor of hypothermia for the treatment of brain ischemia, there is no definitive clinical evidence that has proved its benefits, so far. With current knowledge, an objective of a body temperature between 35.5 and 36.5°C seems an optimal therapeutic target for both hyperthermic and normothermic patients.