18 Nov 09
By J Tikkanen, O Anttonen, M Junttila, A Aro, T Kerola, H Rissanen, A Reunanen and H Huikuri
Early repolarization, which is characterized by an elevation of the QRS–ST junction (J point) in leads other than V1 through V3 on 12-lead electrocardiography, has been associated with vulnerability to ventricular fibrillation, but little is known about the prognostic significance of this pattern in the general population.
We assessed the prevalence and prognostic significance of early repolarization on 12-lead electrocardiography in a community-based general population of 10,864 middle-aged subjects (mean [±SD] age, 44±8 years). The primary end point was death from cardiac causes, and secondary end points were death from any cause and death from arrhythmia during a mean follow-up of 30±11 years. Early repolarization was stratified according to the degree of J-point elevation (0.1 mV or >0.2 mV) in either inferior or lateral leads.
The early-repolarization pattern of 0.1 mV or more was present in 630 subjects (5.8%): 384 (3.5%) in inferior leads and 262 (2.4%) in lateral leads, with elevations in both leads in 16 subjects (0.1%). J-point elevation of at least 0.1 mV in inferior leads was associated with an increased risk of death from cardiac causes (adjusted relative risk, 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 1.59; P=0.03); 36 subjects (0.3%) with J-point elevation of more than 0.2 mV in inferior leads had a markedly elevated risk of death from cardiac causes (adjusted relative risk, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.85 to 4.92; P<0.001) and from arrhythmia (adjusted relative risk, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.45 to 5.89; P=0.01). Other electrocardiographic risk markers, such as a prolonged QT interval corrected for heart rate (P=0.03) and left ventricular hypertrophy (P=0.004), were weaker predictors of the primary end point.
An early-repolarization pattern in the inferior leads of a standard electrocardiogram is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiac causes in middle-aged subjects.
14 Nov 09
ByC Don, W Longstreth, C Maynard, M Olsufka, G Nichol, T Ray et al
Crit Care Med – published ahead of print
To evaluate whether implementation of a therapeutic hypothermia protocol on arrival in a community hospital improved survival and neurologic outcomes in patients initially found to have ventricular fibrillation, pulseless electrical activity, or asystole, and then successfully resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
A retrospective study of patients who presented after implementation of a therapeutic hypothermia protocol compared with those who presented before the protocol was implemented.
Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA.
A total of 491 consecutive adults with out-of-hospital, nontraumatic cardiac arrest who presented between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2004.
An active cooling therapeutic hypothermia protocol, using ice packs, cooling blankets, or cooling pads to achieve a temperature of 32oC to 34oC was initiated on November 18, 2002 for unconscious patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest.
Measurements and main results
Demographics and outcomes were obtained from medical records and an emergency medical database. The primary outcomes were survival and favorable neurologic outcome at discharge associated with the therapeutic hypothermia protocol. An adjusted analysis was performed, using a multivariate regression. During the therapeutic hypothermia period, 204 patients were brought to the emergency department; of these 204 patients, 132 (65%) ultimately achieved temperatures of <34oC. Of the 72 patients who did not achieve goal temperatures: 40 (20%) died in the emergency department or shortly after being admitted to the hospital, 15 (7%) regained consciousness, four (2%) had contraindications, 13 (6%) had temperature increase or did not have documented use of the therapeutic hypothermia protocol. In the prior period, none of the 287 patients received active cooling. Patients admitted in the therapeutic hypothermia period had a mean esophageal temperature of 34.1oC during the first 12 hrs compared with 35.2oC in the pretherapeutic hypothermia period (p < 0.01). Survival to hospital discharge improved in the therapeutic hypothermia period in patients with an initial rhythm of ventricular fibrillation (odds ratio = 1.88, 95% confidence interval = 1.03-3.45), however not in patients with nonventricular fibrillation (odds ratio = 1.17, 95% confidence interval = 0.66-2.05). In adjusted analysis, ventricular fibrillation patients during the therapeutic hypothermia period trended toward improved survival (odds ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.85-3.46) and had favorable neurologic outcome (odds ratio = 2.62, 95% confidence interval = 1.1-6.27) compared with the earlier period. This benefit was not observed in patients whose initial rhythm was pulseless electrical activity or asystole.
The therapeutic hypothermia period was associated with a significant improvement in neurologic outcomes in patients whose initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation, but not in patients with other rhythms.
15 Oct 09
Cochr Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009;4
Good neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest is hard to achieve. Interventions during the resuscitation phase and treatment within the first hours after the event are critical. Experimental evidence suggests that therapeutic hypothermia is beneficial, and a number of clinical studies on this subject have been published.
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of therapeutic hypothermia in patients after cardiac arrest. Neurologic outcome, survival and adverse events were our main outcome parameters. We aimed to perform individual patient data analysis if data were available, and to from subgroups according to the cardiac arrest situation.
We searched the following databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library, 2007 Issue 1); MEDLINE (1971 to January 2007); EMBASE (1987 to January 2007); CINAHL (1988 to January 2007); PASCAL (2000 to January 2007); and BIOSIS (1989 to January 2007).
We included all randomized controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of the therapeutic hypothermia in patients after cardiac arrest without language restrictions. Studies were restricted to adult populations cooled with any cooling method applied within six hours of cardiac arrest.
Data collection and analysis
Validity measures, the intervention, outcome parameters and additional baseline variables were entered into the database. Meta-analysis was only done for a subset of comparable studies with negligible heterogeneity. For these studies individual patient data were available.
Four trials and one abstract reporting on 481 patients were included in the systematic review. Quality of the included studies was good in three out of five included studies. For the three comparable studies on conventional cooling methods all authors provided individual patient data. With conventional cooling methods patients in the hypothermia group were more likely to reach a best cerebral performance categories score of one or two (CPC, five point scale; 1= good cerebral performance, to 5 = brain death) during hospital stay (individual patient data; RR, 1.55; 95% CI 1.22 to 1.96) and were more likely to survive to hospital discharge (individual patient data; RR, 1.35; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.65) compared to standard post-resuscitation care. Across all studies there was no significant difference in reported adverse events between hypothermia and control.
Conventional cooling methods to induce mild therapeutic hypothermia seem to improve survival and neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest. Our review supports the current best medical practice as recommended by the International Resuscitation Guidelines.
16 Mar 09
By M Tiainen, H J Parikka, M A Mäkijärvi, O S Takkunen, S J Sarna, R O Roine
Crit Care Med 2009;37:403-409
To evaluate the effects of therapeutic hypothermia (HT) of 33°C after cardiac arrest (CA) on cardiac arrhythmias, heart rate variability (HRV), and their prognostic value.
Prospective, comparative substudy of a randomized controlled trial of mild HT after out-of-hospital CA, the European Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest study.
Intensive care unit of a tertiary referral hospital (Helsinki University Hospital).
Seventy consecutive adult patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation were randomly assigned either to therapeutic HT of 33°C or normothermia.
Patients randomized to HT were cooled with an external cooling device for 24 hours and then allowed to rewarm slowly during 12 hours. In the normothermia group, the core temperature was kept <38°C by antipyretics and physical means. All patients received standard intensive care for at least 2 days.
Measurements and main results
Twenty-four hour ambulatory electrocardiography recordings were performed at 0-24 hours, at 24-48 hours, and at 14 days. The clinical outcome was assessed at 6 months after CA. The occurrence of premature ventricular beats was increased in the HT-treated group during the first two recordings, with no difference in the number of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation episodes. All HRV values were significantly higher during the HT (p < 0.01), but no differences were observed 2 weeks later. In multivariate analysis, only shorter delay to restoration of spontaneous circulation (p = 0.009) and the sd of individual normal-to-normal intervals >100 msec of the 24-48-hour recording in the HT group (p = 0.018) predicted good outcome.
The use of therapeutic HT of 33°C for 24 hours after CA was not associated with an increase in clinically significant arrhythmias. Preserved 24 to 48-hour HRV may be a predictor of favorable outcome in patients with CA treated with HT.