ANZICS CTG Endorsed Study


Prophylactic hypothermia to lessen traumatic brain injury

Study Description

The POLAR trial is a multicenter, randomised controlled trial of early and sustained prophylactic hypothermia in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. The primary aim of the study is to determine whether early and sustained prophylactic hypothermia, compared to standard normothermic care, is associated with an increased proportion of favourable neurological outcomes for patients six months after severe traumatic brain injury.

Management Committee

Jamie Cooper (Chair), Peter Cameron, Gilles Capellier, Andrew Forbes, Colin McArthur, Lynne Murray, Lynette Newby, Alistair Nichol, Jeff Presneill, Stephen Rashford, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Tony Smith, Michael Stephenson, Shirley Vallance, Dinesh Varma, Tony Walker, and Steve Webb.

Project Manager

Tony Trapani

Administering Institution

ANZIC Research Centre, Monash University

Sample Size

510 patients


National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant $1,958,075
National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant (POLAR II) $266,321
Transport Accident Commission (formerly Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative) $669,970

Project Status as of June 2019

The POLAR trial is now completed. The trial results were published in JAMA. 2018 Dec 4.

Cooper DJ, Nichol AD, Bailey M, Bernard S, Cameron PA, Pili-Floury S, Forbes A, Gantner D, Higgins AM, Huet O, Kasza J, Murray L, Newby L, Presneill JJ, Rashford S, Rosenfeld JV, Stephenson M, Vallance S, Varma D, Webb SAR, Trapani T, McArthur C; POLAR Trial Investigators and the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group. Effect of Early Sustained Prophylactic Hypothermia on Neurologic Outcomes Among Patients With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: The POLAR Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018 Dec 4;320(21):2211-2220. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.17075. PubMed PMID: 30357266; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6583488.

The results manuscript is available via


Tony Trapani (email)


NCT 00987688