Design and rationale of the CHILL phase II trial of hypothermia and neuromuscular blockade for acute respiratory distress syndrome

Carl B. Shanholtz, Michael L. Terrin, Thelma Harrington, Caleb Chan, Whittney Warren, Robert Walter, Faith Armstrong, Jeffrey Marshall, Rachel Scheraga, Abjihit Duggal, Perry Formanek, Michael Baram, Majid Afshar, Nathaniel Marchetti, Sunit Singla, John Reilly, Dan Knox, Nitin Puri, Kevin Chung, Clayton H. BrownJeffrey D. Hasday*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Cooling to Help Injured Lungs (CHILL) trial is an open label, two group, parallel design multicenter, randomized phase IIB clinical trial assessing the efficacy and safety of targeted temperature management with combined external cooling and neuromuscular blockade to block shivering in patients with early moderate-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This report provides the background and rationale for the clinical trial and outlines the methods using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines. Key design challenges include: [1] protocolizing important co-interventions; [2] incorporation of patients with COVID-19 as the cause of ARDS; [3] inability to blind the investigators; and [4] ability to obtain timely informed consent from patients or legally authorized representatives early in the disease process. Results of the Reevaluation of Systemic Early Neuromuscular Blockade (ROSE) trial informed the decision to mandate sedation and neuromuscular blockade only in the group assigned to therapeutic hypothermia and proceed without this mandate in the control group assigned to a usual temperature management protocol. Previous trials conducted in National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ARDS Clinical Trials (ARDSNet) and Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Networks informed ventilator management, ventilation liberation and fluid management protocols. Since ARDS due to COVID-19 is a common cause of ARDS during pandemic surges and shares many features with ARDS from other causes, patients with ARDS due to COVID-19 are included. Finally, a stepwise approach to obtaining informed consent prior to documenting critical hypoxemia was adopted to facilitate enrollment and reduce the number of candidates excluded because eligibility time window expiration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101155
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Neuromuscular blockade
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Therapeutic hypothermia


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