A new portable system which cools the brain via the nasal cavity has been found safe and effective in patients with neurological injury where therapeutic hypothermia was indicated, according to a study published in the journal Stroke1.

The RhinoChill® IntraNasal Cooling System, from Benechill, San Diego, Calif, was tested in a single-arm study involved 15 patients. In nine patients this was for fever control, and in the remaining six for neuroprotection or control of intracranial pressure (ICP).

Following rhinoscopy, the RhinoChill system was used exclusively for at least an hour in all patients except one to initiate temperature reduction, after which standard cooling methods were administered according to local procedures.

Brain, tympanic, and core body temperatures were reduced by averages of 1.4 degrees, 2.2 degrees, and 1.1 degrees respectively. All patients showed a temperature reduction of at least 0.2 degrees centigrade within 15 minutes, and 13 patients (87%) achieved a brain or tympanic temperature reduction of at least one degree or more after one hour.

"It is becoming well-established that rapid, effective brain cooling provides a valuable neuroprotective effect in patients with brain injury," said the study’s principle investigator Alex Abou-Chebl, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky.

"The RhinoChill System has the potential to lower brain temperature more rapidly and effectively than external cooling, and more conveniently and less invasively than internal cooling methods," added study investigator Denise Barbut, MD, a neurologist who founded BeneChill. "This study also suggests that it can be effective even in febrile patients with an elevated brain temperature."

[Source: Medical News Today]