Cardiac Arrest: A Treatment Algorithm for Emergent Invasive Cardiac Procedures in the Resuscitated Comatose Patient

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Jul 7;66(1):62-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.05.009.


Patients who are comatose after cardiac arrest continue to be a challenge, with high mortality. Although there is an American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Class I recommendation for performing immediate angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (when indicated) in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, no guidelines exist for patients without ST-segment elevation. Early introduction of mild therapeutic hypothermia is an established treatment goal. However, there are no established guidelines for risk stratification of patients for cardiac catheterization and possible percutaneous coronary intervention, particularly in patients who have unfavorable clinical features in whom procedures may be futile and affect public reporting of mortality. An algorithm is presented to improve the risk stratification of these severely ill patients with an emphasis on consultation and evaluation of patients prior to activation of the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Keywords: cardiac catheterization; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; percutaneous coronary intervention; risk stratification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Coma
  • Coronary Angiography* / ethics
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Heart Arrest / diagnosis
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / ethics
  • Prognosis