Arterial blood pressure after human cardiac arrest and neurological recovery

Stroke. 1996 Jan;27(1):59-62. doi: 10.1161/01.str.27.1.59.


Background and purpose: In animal cardiac arrest studies, outcome has been improved by inducing arterial hypertension early after return of spontaneous circulation. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether arterial blood pressure within the first minutes and hours after return of spontaneous circulation influences neurological recovery in human cardiac arrest survivors.

Methods: Of 136 retrospectively evaluated patients after sudden cardiac death, two groups were defined: group 1, mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) within 5 minutes after return of spontaneous circulation above 100 mm Hg; group 2, MABP of 100 mm Hg or less. Thereafter MABP was measured every 5 minutes until 2 hours after return of spontaneous circulation. The groups were compared in regard to age, sex, in/out of hospital, witnessed/not witnessed, first electrocardiographic rhythm, time from cardiac arrest to beginning of life support and to return of spontaneous circulation, cumulative epinephrine dose administered, and best neurological outcome within 6 months.

Results: In group 1 (n = 54) good neurological recovery was observed in 63% and in group 2 (n = 82) in 55% (chi 2 = 0.87, P = NS). Both groups exhibited comparable baseline values except that time intervals from beginning of life support to return of spontaneous circulation were shorter in group 1. After we controlled for this difference with Spearman's partial rank correlation (rs), there was no association between MABP measured within the first 5 minutes and outcome (rs = -.023; P = NS). Good neurological recovery was independently and directly related to MABP measured during 2 hours after return of spontaneous circulation (rs = .26; P < .01).

Conclusions: In human cardiac arrest survivors, good functional neurological recovery was independently and positively associated with arterial blood pressure during the first 2 hours after human cardiac arrest but not with hypertensive reperfusion within the first minutes after return of spontaneous circulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Circulation
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac
  • Electrocardiography
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Reperfusion
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy


  • Epinephrine