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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2017 Oct;61(9):1095-1104. doi: 10.1111/aas.12955. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

The incidence and characteristics of 3-month mortality after intraoperative cardiac arrest in adults.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



There is little information about clinical outcomes after intraoperative cardiac arrest (IOCA). We determined the incidence and characteristics of 3-month mortality after IOCA.


The electronic medical records of 238,648 adult surgical patients from January 2005 to December 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Characteristics of IOCA were documented using the Utstein reporting template.


IOCA occurred in 50 patients (21/100,000 surgeries). Nineteen patients died in the operating room, and further 12 patients died within 3 months post-arrest (total mortality: 62%). Three survivors at 3 months post-arrest had unfavourable neurological outcome. Finally, 34 patients showed unfavourable clinical outcomes at 3 months post-arrest. The incidences of non-cardiac surgery, emergency, pre-operative intubation state, non-shockable initial cardiac rhythm, hypovolaemic shock, pre-operative complications-induced cardiac arrest, non-anaesthetic cause of cardiac arrest, intra- and post-arrest transfusion, and continuous infusion of inotrope or vasopressor in intensive care unit (ICU) were significantly higher in non-survivors at 3 months post-arrest. Total epinephrine dose administrated during arrest was higher, and the duration of cardiac compressions was longer in non-survivors at 3 months post-arrest.


In this study, the incidence of IOCA was 21/100,000 surgeries and the 3-month mortality rate after IOCA was 62%. Several factors including surgical emergency, non-shockable initial cardiac rhythm, pre-operative complications, surgical complications, long duration of cardiac compressions, high total epinephrine dose, transfusion, and continuous infusion of inotropes or vasopressors in ICU seemed to be risk factors for 3-month mortality after IOCA. These risk factors should be considered in the light of relatively small sample size of this study.


intraoperative cardiac arrest; mortality; risk factor

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