Coronary angioplasty improves cardiac arrest survival

October 20, 2012

Coronary angioplasty improves survival in all patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest, according to research presented at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2012. The study was presented by Dr Annamaria Nicolino from the Santa Corona General Hospital in Pietra Ligure, Italy.

The Acute Congress 2012 is the first annual meeting of the newly launched Acute Association (ACCA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). It takes place during 20-22 October in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Istanbul Lufti Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC).

Out of hospital is a leading cause of mortality and acute is the leading cause of cardiac arrest. It is well known that when an electrocardiogram (ECG) shows that a patient has ST elevation, primary angiography must be done as soon as possible. If severe coronary disease is found, with percutaneous (PCI) is performed to open the blocked vessel.

But Dr Nicolino said: "There is controversy about what to do when a patient with out of hospital cardiac arrest has a normal ECG that does not show ST elevation. ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines are inconclusive – they say to consider performing coronary angiography but they don't say 'do it' or 'don't do it'."

She added: "Some previous studies have found that if the ECG is normal (no ST elevation) the patient can still have severe coronary disease and therefore needs a coronary angiography, followed by coronary angioplasty, to clear the blocked vessel."

The current study aimed to discover whether performing urgent coronary angiography, and PCI if required, would improve survival in all with out of hospital cardiac arrest (both those with ST elevation and those without).

The study included 70 patients who had out of hospital cardiac arrest between 2006 and 2009. Successful urgent coronary angiography and PCI improved hospital survival in all patients with . The treatment increased hospital survival rates in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) from 51% to 83% (p=0.003) and in non-STEMI (NSTEMI) patients from 55% to 81% (p=0.004).

"In our study, a successful urgent coronary angioplasty improved hospital survival in patients with STEMI and NSTEMI," said Dr Nicolino. "All patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest, if there is no non-cardiac cause, must have an urgent coronary angiography followed by coronary angioplasty if there is coronary disease."

Non-cardiac causes of cardiac arrest which should be ruled out before performing coronary angiography are trauma, brain haemorrhage and metabolic problems such as severe hypoglycaemia.

Dr Nicolino added: "ECG results can be misleading – we found that ECG detected just one-third of acute coronary syndrome in NSTEMI patients. This means that even if the ECG is not showing ST elevation, you cannot rule out an acute coronary syndrome. Coronary angiography should be performed urgently to see if there is any acute which needs treatment with PCI."

Post-resuscitation neurologic injury (PNI) was the biggest complication. This can occur if resuscitation is not performed early enough, since the brain's blood supply stops during cardiac arrest. The 32.8% of patients who had PNI were at the greatest risk of death. Early signs of PNI were associated with underuse of coronary angioplasty and PCI.

Provided there was no neurological injury, MI patients who had angioplasty after cardiac arrest achieved the same one-year survival rates as patients with MI alone.

The first heart rhythm was a ventricular fibrillation (VF) or a ventricular tachycardia (VT) in 62% of patients. Most of these patients had an acute coronary syndrome (STEMI or NSTEMI). The incidence of VF and VT was the same in STEMI and NSTEMI patients. "For many years we have thought that patients with STEMI have a greater arrhythmic risk than NSTEMI patients," said Dr Nicolino. "But we found that both STEMI and NSTEMI patients are at high risk of arrhythmias."

She added: "If the first recorded rhythm is a VF or a VT an acute coronary syndrome is highly probable and it's important to perform a immediately without waiting for a diagnosis of infarction (using an enzyme test)."

Dr Nicolino concluded: "Patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest must be managed by cardiologists, intensive care doctors and anaesthesiologists. This team can save the brain from injury using cooling therapy, and save the heart and life of the patient using coronary angioplasty."

Explore further: Uric acid levels predict death in acute coronary syndrome

Related Stories

Uric acid levels predict death in acute coronary syndrome

April 20, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Elevated uric acid levels are predictive of one-year mortality in patients with acute coronary syndrome, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Results of the RIFLE STEACS clinical trial reported at TCT 2011

November 10, 2011
Results of a randomized clinical trial suggest that using the transradial approach for angioplasty in patients with ST elevation acute coronary syndrome is preferable to the femoral approach, and should be the recommended ...

30-day mortality after AMI drops with improved treatment

August 28, 2012
The analysis of four French registries from 1995 to 2010 was presented by Professor Nicolas Danchin from the Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou.

Recommended for you

Low-salt and heart-healthy dash diet as effective as drugs for some adults with high blood pressure

November 22, 2017
A study of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage 1 high blood pressure, found that combining a low-salt diet with the heart-healthy DASH diet substantially lowers systolic blood pressure—the top number in ...

Stroke patients may have more time to get treatment, study finds

November 22, 2017
Patients and doctors long have relied on a simple rule of thumb for seeking care after an ischemic stroke: "Time is brain."

Cases of heart failure continue to rise; poorest people worst affected

November 22, 2017
The number of people being diagnosed with heart failure in the UK continues to rise as a result of demographic changes common to many developed countries, new research by The George Institute for Global Health at the University ...

Some cancer therapies may provide a new way to treat high blood pressure

November 20, 2017
Drugs designed to halt cancer growth may offer a new way to control high blood pressure (hypertension), say Georgetown University Medical Center investigators. The finding could offer a real advance in hypertension treatment ...

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?

November 17, 2017
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging. But by studying the genetic makeup of people who maintain clear arteries into old age, researchers led by UNC's Jonathan Schisler, PhD, have identified ...

Raising 'good' cholesterol fails to protect against heart disease

November 16, 2017
Raising so-called 'good' cholesterol by blocking a key protein involved in its metabolism does not protect against heart disease or stroke, according to a large genetic study of 150,000 Chinese adults published in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.