Blood Pressure Linked to Survival Following Cardiac Arrest

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Comatose survivors of cardiac arrest have high rates of death and neurological damage. Juan Russo, MD, a cardiology resident at the Ottawa Heart Institute, is studying whether the prognosis of these patients can be assessed using a non-invasive estimate of how much blood is reaching the brain. 

In a presentation at AHA 2016—one of three he gave at the event—Dr. Russo showed that a blood pressure measurement called mean arterial pressure (MAP) was associated with survival after cardiac arrest. For the study, he and his colleagues looked at medical records from 122 patients who underwent therapeutic hypothermia following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest caused by an arrhythmia.

They adjusted for age, whether or not the patient received CPR from a bystander, and the use of drugs that cause blood vessels to tighten (and therefore blood pressure to rise). After these adjustments, they found that patients with higher average MAP during their first four days in hospital were more likely to survive. MAP did not help predict which patients would suffer severe neurological damage.

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