Effect of controlled sequential elevation timing of the head and thorax during cardiopulmonary resuscitation on cerebral perfusion pressures in a porcine model of cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2020 Apr;149:162-169. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2019.12.011. Epub 2020 Jan 21.


Aim: Controlled sequential elevation of the head and thorax (CSE) during active compression-decompression (ACD) CPR with an impedance threshold device (ITD) augments cerebral (CerPP) and coronary (CorPP) perfusion pressures. The optimal CSE is unknown.

Methods: After 8 minutes of untreated VF, 40 kg anesthetized female pigs were positioned on a customized head and thorax elevation device (CED). After 2 min of automated ACD + ITD-16 CPR to 'prime the system', 12 pigs were randomized to CSE to the highest CED position over 4-min or 10-min. The primary outcome was CerPP after 7 minutes of CPR. Secondarily, 24-sec (without a priming step) and 2-min CSE times were similarly tested (n = 6 group) in a non-randomized order. Values expressed as mean ± SD.

Results: After 7 min of CPR, CerPPs were significantly higher in the 4-min vs 10-min CSE groups (53 ± 14.4 vs 38.5 ± 3.6 mmHg respectively, p = 0.03) whereas CorPP trended higher. The 4-min CSE group achieved 50% of baseline (50% BL) CerPP faster than the 10-min group (2.5 ± 1.2 vs 6 ± 3.1 minutes, p = 0.03). CerPP values in the 2-min and 4-min CSE groups were significantly higher than in the 24-sec group. With CSE, CerPPs and CorPPs increased over time in all groups.

Conclusions: By optimizing controlled sequential elevation timing, CerPP values achieved 50% of baseline within less than 2.5 minutes and >80% of baseline after 7 minutes of CPR. This novel CPR approach rapidly restored CerPPs to near normal values non-invasively and without vasopressors.

Keywords: Active compression–decompression CPR; Cardiac arrest; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Cerebral perfusion pressure; Coronary perfusion pressure; Head Up CPR; Head and thorax elevation; Impedance threshold device; Medical device; Patient positioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Female
  • Head
  • Heart Arrest* / therapy
  • Swine
  • Thorax