The role of adrenaline in cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Crit Care. 2018 May 29;22(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s13054-018-2058-1.


Adrenaline has been used in the treatment of cardiac arrest for many years. It increases the likelihood of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), but some studies have shown that it impairs cerebral microcirculatory flow. It is possible that better short-term survival comes at the cost of worse long-term outcomes. This narrative review summarises the rationale for using adrenaline, significant studies to date, and ongoing research.

Keywords: Adrenaline; Cardiac arrest; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Epinephrine; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epinephrine / metabolism*
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / drug effects*
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Propensity Score
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Resuscitation / standards
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Epinephrine