Outcomes associated with amiodarone and lidocaine in the treatment of in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest with pulseless ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation

Resuscitation. 2014 Mar;85(3):381-6. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.12.008. Epub 2013 Dec 19.


Aim: To determine the association between amiodarone and lidocaine and outcomes in children with cardiac arrest with pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pVT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Background: Current AHA guidelines for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care recommend amiodarone for cardiac arrest in children associated with shock refractory pVT/VF, based on a single pediatric study and extrapolation from adult data.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study from the Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation database for in-patient cardiac arrest. Patients<18 years old with pVT/VF cardiac arrest were included. Patients receiving amiodarone or lidocaine prior to arrest or whose initial arrest rhythm was unknown were excluded. Univariate analysis was performed to assess the association between patient and event factors and clinical outcomes. Multivariate analysis was performed to address independent association between lidocaine and amiodarone use and outcomes.

Results: Of 889 patients, 171 (19%) received amiodarone, 295 (33%) received lidocaine, and 82 (10%) received both. Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) occurred in 484/889 (54%), 24-h survival in 342/874 (39%), and survival to hospital discharge in 194/889 (22%). Lidocaine was associated with improved ROSC (adjusted OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.36-3), and 24-h survival (adjusted OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.11-2.49), but not hospital discharge. Amiodarone use was not associated with ROSC, 24h survival, or survival to discharge.

Conclusions: For children with in-hospital pVT/VF, lidocaine use was independently associated with improved ROSC and 24-h survival. Amiodarone use was not associated with superior rates of ROSC, survival at 24h. Neither drug was associated with survival to hospital discharge.

Keywords: Amiodarone; Cardiac arrest; Lidocaine; Pediatrics; Ventricular fibrillation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amiodarone / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Heart Arrest / complications
  • Heart Arrest / drug therapy*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / complications*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / complications*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Lidocaine
  • Amiodarone