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Am J Cardiol. 2011 Feb 15;107(4):522-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.10.011. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Usefulness of cooling and coronary catheterization to improve survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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Alfred Hospital Heart Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Survival rates after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) continue to be poor. Recent evidence suggests that a more aggressive approach to postresuscitation care, in particular combining therapeutic hypothermia with early coronary intervention, can improve prognosis. We performed a single-center review of 125 patients who were resuscitated from OHCA in 2 distinct treatment periods, from 2002 to 2003 (control group) and from 2007 to 2009 (contemporary group). Patients in the contemporary group had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors but similar cardiac arrest duration and prehospital treatment (adrenaline administration and direct cardioversion). Rates of cardiogenic shock (48% vs 41%, p = 0.2) and decreased conscious state on arrival (77% vs 86%, p = 0.2) were similar in the 2 cohorts, as was the incidence of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (33% vs 43%, p = 0.1). The contemporary cohort was more likely to receive therapeutic hypothermia (75% vs 0%, p <0.01), coronary angiography (77% vs 45%, p <0.01), and percutaneous coronary intervention (38% vs 23%, p = 0.03). This contemporary therapeutic strategy was associated with better survival to discharge (64% vs 39%, p <0.01) and improved neurologic recovery (57% vs 29%, p <0.01) and was the only independent predictor of survival (odds ratio 5.5, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 26.2, p = 0.03). Longer resuscitation time, presence of cardiogenic shock, and decreased conscious state were independent predictors of poor outcomes. In conclusion, modern management of OHCA, including therapeutic hypothermia and early coronary angiography is associated with significant improvement in survival to hospital discharge and neurologic recovery.

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