The Role of Inflammatory Cytokines in Cardiac Arrest

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Introduction:Post-cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS) is characterized by systemic ischemia/reperfusion injury, anoxic brain injury, and post-arrest myocardial dysfunction superimposed on a precipitating pathology. The role of inflammatory cytokines in cardiac arrest remains unclear.Aims:We aimed to describe, with an emphasis on clinical applications, what is known about the role of inflammatory cytokines in cardiac arrest.Data Sources:A PubMed literature review was performed for relevant articles. Only articles in English that studied cytokines in patients with cardiac arrest were included.Results:Cytokines play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of PCAS. Following cardiac arrest, the large release of circulating cytokines mediates the ischemia/reperfusion injury, brain dysfunction, and myocardial dysfunction seen. Interleukins, tumor necrosis factor, and matrix metalloproteinases all play a unique prognostic role in PCAS. High levels of inflammatory cytokines have been associated with mortality and/or poor neurologic outcomes. Interventions to modify the systemic inflammation seen in PCAS continue to be heavily studied. Currently, the only approved medical intervention for comatose patients following cardiac arrest is targeted temperature management. Medical agents, including minocycline and sodium sulfide, have demonstrated promise in animal models.Conclusions:The role of inflammatory cytokines for both short- and long-term outcomes is an important area for future investigation.

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