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Circulation. 2002 Jul 30;106(5):562-8.

Successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation after cardiac arrest as a "sepsis-like" syndrome.

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Medical ICU, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France.



We investigated the immunoinflammatory profile of patients successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest, representing a model of whole-body ischemia/reperfusion syndrome.


Plasma cytokine, endotoxin, and ex vivo cytokine production in whole-blood assays was assessed in 61, 35, and 11 patients, respectively. On admission, high levels of plasma interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, and soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor type II could discriminate between survivors and nonsurvivors. Among nonsurvivors, the initial need for a vasopressor agent was associated with higher levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-10, and IL-6 on day 1. Plasma endotoxin was detected in 46% of the analyzed patients within the 2 first days. Endotoxin-induced TNF and IL-6 productions were dramatically impaired in these patients compared with healthy control subjects, whereas an unaltered production was observed with heat-killed Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast, IL-1 receptor antagonist productions were enhanced in these patients compared with healthy control subjects. The productions of T-cell-derived IL-10 and interferon-gamma were also impaired in these patients. Finally, using in vitro plasma exchange between healthy control subjects and patients, we demonstrated that the endotoxin-dependent hyporeactivity was an intrinsic property of patients' leukocytes and that an immunosuppressive activity was also present in their plasma.


Altogether, the high levels of circulating cytokines, the presence of endotoxin in plasma, and the dysregulated production of cytokines found in these patients recall the immunological profile found in patients with sepsis.

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