Krychtiuk KA, et al. Resuscitation 2020.
AIM: Current guidelines suggest the use of epinephrine in patients with cardiac arrest (CA). However, evidence for increased survival in good neurological condition is lacking. In experimental settings, epinephrine-induced impairment of microvascular flow was shown. The aim of our study was to analyse the association between epinephrine treatment and intestinal injury in patients after CA.
METHODS: We have included 52 patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after CA admitted to our medical intensive care unit (ICU). Blood was taken on admission and levels of circulating intestinal fatty acid binding protein (iFABP) were analysed.
RESULTS: Patients were 64 (49.8-73.8) years old and predominantly male (76.9%). After six months, 50% of patients died and 38.5% of patients had a cerebral performance category (CPC)-score of 1-2. iFABP levels were lower in survivors (234 IQR 90-399pg/mL) as compared to non-survivors (283, IQR 86-11500pg/mL; p<0.05). Plasma levels of iFABP were not associated with time to ROSC but correlated with epinephrine-dose (R=0.32; p<0.05). 40% of patients receiving ≥3mg of epinephrine as compared to 10.5% of patients treated with<3mg (p<0.05) developed iFABP plasma levels>1500pg/mL, which was associated with dramatically increased mortality (HR4.87, 95%CI 1.95-12.1; p<0.001). iFABP levels predicted mortality independent from time to ROSC and the disease severity score SAPS II. In contrast to mortality, iFABP plasma levels were not associated with neurological outcome.
CONCLUSIONS: In this small, single centre study, cumulative dose of epinephrine used in cardiac arrest patients was associated with an increase in biomarker indicative of intestinal injury and 6-month mortality.