Hypothermia is considered neuroprotective and a potential treatment in cerebral ischemia. Some studies suggest that hyperthermia may promote clot lysis. We hypothesized that low body temperature would prolong time to spontaneous clot lysis resulting in an association between low body temperature and severe neurological deficits in the early phase of ischemic stroke.
In this prospective study, patients (n = 516) exhibiting ischemic stroke with symptom onset within 6 hours were included. Body temperature and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score were registered on admission. Because low body temperature on admission may be secondary to immobilization due to large stroke, separate analyses were performed on patients with cerebral hemorrhage admitted within 6 hours (n = 85).
Linear regression showed that low body temperature on admission was independently associated with a high NIHSS score within 6 hours of stroke onset in patients with ischemic stroke (P