Wilhelm Behringer, MD; Harald Kittler, MD; Fritz Sterz, MD; Hans Domanovits, MD; Waltraud Schoerkhuber, MD; Michael Holzer, MD; Marcus Mullner, MD; Anton N. Laggner, MD
Epinephrine is the drug of choice in advanced cardiac life support, but it can have deleterious side effects after restoration of spontaneous circulation.
To investigate the association between the cumulative epinephrine dose used in advanced cardiac life support and neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest.
Retrospective cohort study.
Adults admitted to the emergency department with witnessed, nontraumatic, normothermic ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest and unsuccessful initial defibrillation.
Functional neurologic outcome was regularly assessed by cerebral performance category (CPC) within 6 months after cardiac arrest. A CPC of 1 or 2 was defined as favorable recovery.
Among 178 enrolled patients, the median cumulative epinephrine dose administered was 4 mg (range, 0 to 50 mg). In 151 patients (84%), spontaneous circulation was restored; 63 of these 151 patients (42%) had favorable neurologic recovery. Patients with an unfavorable CPC received a significantly higher cumulative dose of epinephrine than did patients with a favorable CPC (4 mg compared with 1 mg; P < 0.001). This finding persisted after stratification by duration of resuscitation. After possible cofounders were controlled for, the cumulative epinephrine dose remained an independent predictor of unfavorable neurologic outcome.
The results indicate that an increasing cumulative dose of epinephrine administered during resuscitation is independently associated with unfavorable neurologic outcome after ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest.
Behringer W, Kittler H, Sterz F, Domanovits H, Schoerkhuber W, Holzer M, et al. Cumulative Epinephrine Dose during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Neurologic Outcome. Ann Intern Med. ;129:450–456. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-6-199809150-00004
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(6):450-456.
Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Rhythm Disorders and Devices.
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