Cold as a therapeutic agent

H. Wang, W. Olivero, D. Wang, G. Lanzino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The use of cold as a therapeutic agent has a long and colorful history. The Edwin Smith Papyrus, the most ancient medical text known, dated 3500 B.C., made numerous references to the use of cold as therapy. Baron de Larrey, a French army surgeon during Napoleon's Russian campaign, packed the limbs in ice prior to amputations to render the procedures painless. In the early twentieth century, a neurosurgeon, Temple Fay, pioneered "human refrigeration" as a treatment for malignancies and head injuries. In 1961, Irving Cooper developed the first closed cryoprobe system and ushered in the modern era of cryogenic surgery with his imperturbable convictions. Fay's early work fell victim to the disruptive sequel of the World War II. The Nazis confiscated his data (presented before the Third International Cancer Congress in 1939) forwarded to Belgium for publication and brutally applied his refrigeration techniques experimentally without any benefit of anesthesia in the concentration camps, especially Dachau. Hypothermia became associated in the public mind with the atrocities exposed at the war trials in Nürnberg. After lying dormant for decades, the interest was rekindled in the late 80s when mild hypothermia was shown to confer dramatic neuroprotection in a number of experimental models of brain injury. With several large multi-center clinical studies currently under way, hypothermia is receiving unprecedented attention from the medical and scientific communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-570
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Volume148
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006

Fingerprint

Hypothermia
Refrigeration
Concentration Camps
National Socialism
World War II
Cryotherapy
Belgium
Ice
Amputation
Craniocerebral Trauma
Violence
Brain Injuries
Publications
Neoplasms
Theoretical Models
Therapeutics
Extremities
Anesthesia
History

Keywords

  • Cold
  • History of medicine
  • Hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Wang, H., Olivero, W., Wang, D., & Lanzino, G. (2006). Cold as a therapeutic agent. Acta Neurochirurgica, 148(5), 565-570. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00701-006-0747-z

Cold as a therapeutic agent. / Wang, H.; Olivero, W.; Wang, D.; Lanzino, G.

In: Acta Neurochirurgica, Vol. 148, No. 5, 01.05.2006, p. 565-570.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Wang, H, Olivero, W, Wang, D & Lanzino, G 2006, 'Cold as a therapeutic agent', Acta Neurochirurgica, vol. 148, no. 5, pp. 565-570. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00701-006-0747-z
Wang H, Olivero W, Wang D, Lanzino G. Cold as a therapeutic agent. Acta Neurochirurgica. 2006 May 1;148(5):565-570. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00701-006-0747-z
Wang, H. ; Olivero, W. ; Wang, D. ; Lanzino, G. / Cold as a therapeutic agent. In: Acta Neurochirurgica. 2006 ; Vol. 148, No. 5. pp. 565-570.
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