Treatment of prolonged ventricular fibrillation. Immediate countershock versus high-dose epinephrine and CPR preceding countershock.
BACKGROUND Early countershock of ventricular fibrillation has been shown to improve immediate and long-term outcome of cardiac arrest. However, a number of investigations in the laboratory and in the clinical population indicate that immediate countershock of prolonged ventricular fibrillation most commonly is followed by asystole or a nonperfusing spontaneous cardiac rhythm, neither of which rarely respond to current therapy. The use of epinephrine in doses greater than those currently recommended has recently been shown to improve both cerebral and myocardial perfusion during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The purpose of this study was to compare cardiac resuscitation outcome between immediate countershock of prolonged ventricular fibrillation with high-dose epinephrine therapy and conventional CPR before countershock of prolonged ventricular fibrillation in a canine model.
METHODS AND RESULTS After sedation, intubation, induction of anesthesia, and instrumentation, ventricular fibrillation was electrically induced in 28 dogs. After 7.5 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, animals were randomly allocated to two treatment groups: group 1, immediate countershock followed by recommended advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) interventions, or group 2, 0.08 mg/kg epinephrine and manual closed-chest CPR before countershock and ACLS. In both groups, ACLS was continued until a spontaneous perfusing rhythm was restored or for 20 minutes (total arrest time, 27.5 minutes). A spontaneous perfusing rhythm was restored in three of 14 group 1 animals and in nine of 14 group 2 animals (p = 0.014 by sequential analysis method of Whitehead). Coronary perfusion pressure (aortic minus right atrial pressure during CPR diastole) before countershock was significantly greater in group 2 (21 +/- 7 mm Hg) when compared with mean circulatory pressure in group 1 (9 +/- 8, p less than 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS The findings of this study suggest that a brief period of myocardial perfusion before countershock improves cardiac resuscitation outcome from prolonged ventricular fibrillation.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association