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Circulation. 1986 Dec;74(6 Pt 2):IV138-53.

Cerebral resuscitation after cardiac arrest: a review.


Cerebral neurons can tolerate at least 20 min of normothermic ischemic anoxia. Cerebral recovery from more than 5 min of cardiac arrest is hampered by complex secondary derangements of multiple organ systems after reperfusion. There is increasing support of our hypothesis that this "postresuscitation syndrome" includes the following: secondary cerebral perfusion failure, cerebral reoxygenation injury (cell-necrotizing cascades), and cerebral "intoxication" from derangements of extracerebral organs. To be optimal for the brain, CPR with optimal perfusion pressure must be started as promptly as possible. Significant though inconsistent mitigation of permanent brain damage after prolonged complete global brain ischemia has been achieved in animal outcome preparations with the use of the following treatments initiated at the start of reperfusion: brain-oriented extracerebral life support by protocol, intra-arterial hemodilution, hypertension, and artificial circulation, barbiturates, calcium-entry blockers, free-radical scavengers, and multifaceted treatments. We currently recommend treatment 1 for patient care and treatment 2 for clinical feasibility trials. Treatment 3, thiopental loading (starting 10 to 50 min after restoration of spontaneous circulation), was tested in a randomized clinical trial and was not shown to confer a statistically significant benefit. A calcium-entry blocker is under clinical investigation. Many other novel treatments appear promising but further animal studies are required. The complex multifactorial pathogenesis of postcardiac arrest encephalopathy requires systematic multicenter development of etiology-specific combination therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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