Duration of Untreated Cardiac Arrest and Clinical Relevance of Animal Experiments: The Relationship Between the "No-Flow" Duration and the Severity of Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome in a Porcine Model.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The study investigated the effect of untreated cardiac arrest (CA), that is, "no-flow" time, on postresuscitation myocardial and neurological injury, and survival in a pig model to identify an optimal duration that adequately reflects the most frequent clinical scenario.

METHODS

An established model of myocardial infarction followed by CA and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was used. Twenty-two pigs were subjected to three no-flow durations: short (8-10 min), intermediate (12-13 min), and long (14-15 min). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was assessed together with thermodilution cardiac output (CO) and high sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT). Neurological impairment was evaluated by neurological scores, serum neuron specific enolase (NSE), and histopathology.

RESULTS

More than 60% of animals survived when the duration of CA was ≤13 min, compared to only 20% for a duration ≥14 min. Neuronal degeneration and neurological scores showed a trend toward a worse recovery for longer no-flow durations. No animals achieved a good neurological recovery for a no-flow ≥14 min, in comparison to a 56% for a duration ≤13 min (P = 0.043). Serum NSE levels significantly correlated with the no-flow duration (r = 0.892). Longer durations of CA were characterized by lower LVEF and CO compared to shorter durations (P < 0.05). The longer was the no-flow time, the higher was the number of defibrillations delivered (P = 0.043). The defibrillations delivered significantly correlated with LVEF and plasma hs-cTnT.

CONCLUSIONS

Longer no-flow durations caused greater postresuscitation myocardial and neurological dysfunction and reduced survival. An untreated CA of 12-13 min may be an optimal choice for a clinically relevant model.

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