Therapeutic hypothermia after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: experiences with patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention and cardiogenic shock

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2007 Feb;51(2):137-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2006.01209.x. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Background: Therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to increase survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The trials documenting such benefit excluded patients with cardiogenic shock and only a few patients were treated with percutaneous coronary intervention prior to admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). We use therapeutic hypothermia whenever cardiac arrest patients do not wake up immediately after return of spontaneous circulation.

Methods: This paper reports the outcome of 50 OHCA patients with ventricular fibrillation admitted to a tertiary referral hospital for immediate coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention when indicated. Patients were treated with intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABP) (23 of 50 patients) if indicated. All patients who were still comatose were treated with therapeutic hypothermia at 32-34 degrees C for 24 h before rewarming. The end-points were survival and cerebral performance category (CPC: 1, best; 5, dead) after 6 months.

Results: Forty-one patients (82%) survived until 6 months. Thirty-four patients (68%) were in CPC 1 or 2, and seven (14%) were in CPC 3. Of the 23 patients treated with IABP, 14 (61%) survived with CPC 1 or 2. In patients not treated with IABP, 20 patients (74%) survived with CPC 1 or 2. Forty patients (80%) developed myocardial infarction. Percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in 36 patients (72%).

Conclusion: In OHCA survivors who reached our hospital, the survival rate was high and the neurological outcome acceptable. Our results indicate that the use of therapeutic hypothermia is justified even in haemodynamically unstable patients and those treated with percutaneous coronary intervention.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coma / therapy
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods*
  • Hypothermia, Induced / mortality
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy