Combining therapeutic hypothermia and emergent coronary angiography in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: Optimal post-arrest care for the best patient

Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2015 Dec;4(6):579-88. doi: 10.1177/2048872614564080. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


Background: Aggressive post-resuscitation care, in particular combining mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH) with early coronary angiography (CAG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), may improve prognosis after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Objectives: The study aims to assess the value of immediate CAG or PCI in comatose survivors after OHCA treated with MTH and their association with outcomes.

Methods: Observational, prospective analysis of all comatose, resuscitated patients treated with MTH at a tertiary centre and undergoing CAG or PCI ≤6 hours after OHCA, or non-invasively managed. Primary outcomes were 30-day and 1-year survival.

Results: From March 2004-December 2012, 141 (51%) out of 278 comatose patients after cardiac OHCA were treated with MTH (median age: 64.5 (interquartile range 55-73) years, males: 67%, first shockable rhythm: 70%, witnessed OHCA: 94%, interval OHCA-resuscitation ≤20 min: 81%). Ninety-seven patients (69%) underwent early CAG, and 45 (32%) of them PCI. Patients undergoing CAG or PCI had a more favourable risk profile than subjects non-invasively managed. PCI treated patients had more bleedings, but no stent thrombosis occurred. Thirty-day and one-year unadjusted total mortality rates were 50% and 72% for non-invasively managed patients, 26% and 38.7% for patients submitted only to CAG and 32% and 36.6% for patients treated with PCI (p=0.0435 for early death, and p<0.0001 for one-year mortality, respectively). However, a propensity-matched score analysis did not confirm the survival advantage of invasive management (p=0.093). At multivariable analysis, clinical and OHCA-related variables as well as CAG, but not PCI, were associated with outcomes.

Conclusions: Comatose patients cooled after OHCA and submitted to emergency CAG or PCI are a favourable outcome population that receives optimal post-arrest care.

Keywords: Cardiac arrest; coronary angiography; coronary intervention; hypothermia; outcome; survival.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / diagnostic imaging
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome