Cardiac arrest in the catheterisation laboratory: a 5-year experience of using mechanical chest compressions to facilitate PCI during prolonged resuscitation efforts

Resuscitation. 2010 Apr;81(4):383-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2009.11.006. Epub 2009 Dec 14.


Purpose: Lengthy resuscitations in the catheterisation laboratory carry extremely high rates of mortality because it is essentially impossible to perform effective chest compressions during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a mechanical chest compression device, LUCAS, in the catheterisation laboratory, in patients who suffered circulatory arrest requiring prolonged resuscitation.

Materials and methods: The study population was comprised of patients who arrived alive to the catheterisation laboratory and then required mechanical chest compression at some time during the angiogram, PCI or pericardiocentesis between 2004 and 2008 at the Lund University Hospital. This is a retrospective registry analysis.

Results: During the study period, a total of 3058 patients were treated with PCI for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) of whom 118 were in cardiogenic shock and 81 required defibrillations. LUCAS was used in 43 patients (33 STEMI, 7 non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), 2 elective PCIs and 1 patient with tamponade). Five patients had tamponade due to myocardial rupture prior to PCI that was revealed at the start of the PCI, and all five died. Of the remaining 38 patients, 1 patient underwent a successful pericardiocentesis and 36 were treated with PCI. Eleven of these patients were discharged alive in good neurological condition.

Conclusion: The use of mechanical chest compressions in the catheterisation laboratory allows for continued PCI or pericardiocentesis despite ongoing cardiac or circulatory arrest with artificially sustained circulation. It is unlikely that few, if any, of the patients would have survived without the use of mechanical chest compressions in the catheterisation laboratory.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Cardiac Tamponade / therapy
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Retrospective Studies