2 April 2019

Ischemic heart disease is a major cause of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The role of immediate coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the treatment of patients who have been successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in the absence of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) remains uncertain.

Niels van Royen and colleagues, theme Vascular damage, found out that among patients who had been successfully resuscitated after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and had no signs of STEMI, a strategy of immediate angiography was not found to be better than a strategy of delayed angiography with respect to overall survival at 90 days. They have published their findings in the prestigious journal The New England Journal of Medicine. 

In a multicenter trial, they randomly assigned 552 patients who had cardiac arrest without signs of STEMI to undergo immediate coronary angiography or coronary angiography that was delayed until after neurologic recovery. All patients underwent PCI if indicated. The primary end point was survival at 90 days. Secondary end points included survival at 90 days with good cerebral performance or mild or moderate disability, myocardial injury, duration of catecholamine support, markers of shock, recurrence of ventricular tachycardia, duration of mechanical ventilation, major bleeding, occurrence of acute kidney injury, need for renal-replacement therapy, time to target temperature, and neurologic status at discharge from the intensive care unit.

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