A randomized, blinded trial of high-dose epinephrine versus standard-dose epinephrine in a swine model of pediatric asphyxial cardiac arrest

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To determine whether high-dose epinephrine administration during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in a swine pediatric asphyxial cardiac arrest model improves outcome (i.e., resuscitation rate, survival rate, and neurologic function) compared with standard-dose epinephrine.


A randomized, blinded study.


A large animal cardiovascular laboratory at a university.


Thirty domestic piglets (3 to 4 months of age) were randomized to receive standard-dose epinephrine (0.02 mg/kg) or high-dose epinephrine (0.2 mg/kg) during CPR after 10 mins of cardiac standstill with loss of aortic pulsation after endotracheal tube clamping.


Two minutes of CPR were provided, followed by advanced pediatric life support. Successfully resuscitated animals were supported in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting for 2 hrs and then observed for 24 hrs.

Measurements and Main Results

Electrocardiogram, thoracic aortic blood pressure, and right atrial blood pressure were monitored continuously until the intensive care period ended. Survival rate and neurologic outcome were determined.


High-dose epinephrine did not improve 2-hr survival rate, 24-hr survival rate, or neurologic outcome. High-dose epinephrine resulted in severe tachycardia and hypertension immediately after resuscitation and in a higher mortality rate immediately after resuscitation.

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