Cerebral performance category and long-term prognosis following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. (Teppa)

Crit Care Med. 2013 May;41(5):1252-7. PMID: 23388519

OBJECTIVE: Although measures of functional status are often advocated when assessing short-term survival following cardiac arrest, little is known about how these measures predict long-term prognosis. We sought to determine whether the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) was associated with long-term outcome following resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

DESIGN: The study was a retrospective cohort investigation of adults who suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the study community between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2009, and were successfully resuscitated and discharged alive from the hospital following the event. The CPC at the time of hospital discharge was ascertained through review of the hospital record. The primary outcome was survival following hospital discharge. Survival status was determined using state and national death indexes. We used Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression to evaluate the association between CPC and survival.

MAIN RESULTS: Among the 980 eligible subjects, 606 of 980 (62%) had a CPC of 1; 227 of 980 (23%) had a CPC of 2; 97 of 980 (10%) had a CPC of 3; and 50 of 980 (5%) had a CPC of 4. There were 336 deaths during 3,713 person-years of follow-up. Overall, 1-year survival was 82% and 5-year survival was 64%. Favorable CPC predicted better long-term prognosis. Compared with CPC 1, the relative risk of survival was 0.61 (0.47-0.80) for CPC 2, 0.43 (0.31-0.59) for CPC 3, and 0.10 (0.06-0.15) for CPC 4.

CONCLUSIONS: The CPC at hospital discharge is a useful surrogate measure of long-term survival and can be an informative tool for programmatic evaluation and research of resuscitation.

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Computed tomographic angiography as a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of brain death. (Petrillo)

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 May;74(5):1279-85. PMID: 23609279

BACKGROUND: Because of its widespread accessibility, computed tomographic angiography (CT-A) is a promising technique in the detection of intracranial circulatory arrest in brain death (BD). Several studies assessed this tool, but neither have standardized evaluation parameters been developed nor has information about specificity become available.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective study between January 2008 and April 2012. Thirty patients were admitted to our University Hospital (16 men and 14 women; age, 18-88 years) and underwent CT-A scanning at two occasions: immediately after the first signs of loss of brain stem reflexes and after definitive determination ofbrain. The results of CT-A were compared with transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and electroencephalogram.

RESULTS: In 3 of 30 patients, we observed a termination of contrast flow at the level of the skull base and foramen magnum in arterial scanning series before the clinical determination of BD. After the clinical determination of BD, the opacification of all vascular territories in arterial phase scanning was found in one case, but venous phase scanning revealed no blood return in internal cerebral veins. In all other cases, contrast filling ceased at level of skull base or below. The specificity of CT-A in the detection of intracranial circulatory arrest was 90%, and sensitivity was 97%.

CONCLUSION: CT-A is reliable and appropriate technical investigation to detect intracranial circulatory arrest in BD. The evaluation of contrast enhancement in arterial phase scanning seems to be more reliable than that in venous phase. An international consensus about a uniformly applied CT-A protocol for the evaluation of BD should be established.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic study, level V.

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