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Ann Pharmacother. 2019 Jul;53(7):711-715. doi: 10.1177/1060028019828423. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Evaluation of Rescue Thrombolysis in Cardiac Arrest Secondary to Suspected or Confirmed Pulmonary Embolism.

Author information

1
1 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.
2
2 Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the associated cause of unexplained cardiac arrest in 5% to 13% of patients. Although thrombolytic agents have been studied, patient outcomes during cardiac arrest are lacking.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to describe outcomes of patients who received thrombolytic therapy during cardiac arrest for suspected or confirmed PE.

METHODS:

This retrospective review included adults who received alteplase or tenecteplase during cardiac arrest for suspected or confirmed PE. The primary end point was incidence of survival to hospital discharge, whereas secondary end points included a description of dosing strategies of thrombolytic therapy, the incidence of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), the occurrence of minor or major bleeding, and intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay.

RESULTS:

Of the 22 patients included in the study, 3 patients (13.6%) survived to hospital discharge, and ROSC was obtained in 11 patients (50%). Three patients had confirmed PE prior to cardiac arrest, with the remaining 19 patients having a documented suspicion for PE. The most frequent dosing strategy was alteplase 100 mg given via intravenous push (13 of 22 patients; 59%). One minor and no major bleeding events occurred. Conclusion and Relevance: Medical advances in PE management continue to evolve; yet the role of thrombolytic therapy in PE-related cardiac arrest remains unclear, with low overall rates of survival. These findings add to the relatively small body of evidence and highlight that optimal dosing remains unknown in this setting.

KEYWORDS:

cardiac arrest; pulmonary embolism; thrombolysis

PMID:
30700101
DOI:
10.1177/1060028019828423

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