Post-cardiac arrest syndrome: epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment, and prognostication. A Scientific Statement from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation; the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee; the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Perioperative, and Critical Care; the Council on Clinical Cardiology; the Council on Stroke

Resuscitation. 2008 Dec;79(3):350-79. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2008.09.017. Epub 2008 Oct 28.


Aim of the review: To review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment and prognostication in relation to the post-cardiac arrest syndrome.

Methods: Relevant articles were identified using PubMed, EMBASE and an American Heart Association EndNote master resuscitation reference library, supplemented by hand searches of key papers. Writing groups comprising international experts were assigned to each section. Drafts of the document were circulated to all authors for comment and amendment.

Results: The 4 key components of post-cardiac arrest syndrome were identified as (1) post-cardiac arrest brain injury, (2) post-cardiac arrest myocardial dysfunction, (3) systemic ischaemia/reperfusion response, and (4) persistent precipitating pathology.

Conclusions: A growing body of knowledge suggests that the individual components of the post-cardiac arrest syndrome are potentially treatable.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injury, Chronic / etiology
  • Heart Arrest / complications*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Syndrome