Vasopressin, epinephrine, and corticosteroids for in-hospital cardiac arrest

Spyros D Mentzelopoulos, Spyros G Zakynthinos, Maria Tzoufi, Nikos Katsios, Androula Papastylianou, Sotiria Gkisioti, Anastasios Stathopoulos, Androniki Kollintza, Elissavet Stamataki, Charis Roussos
Archives of Internal Medicine 2009 January 12, 169 (1): 15-24

BACKGROUND: Animal data on cardiac arrest showed improved long-term survival with combined vasopressin-epinephrine. In cardiac arrest, cortisol levels are relatively low during and after cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We hypothesized that combined vasopressin-epinephrine and corticosteroid supplementation during and after resuscitation may improve survival in refractory in-hospital cardiac arrest.

METHODS: We conducted a single-center, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. We enrolled 100 consecutive patients with cardiac arrest requiring epinephrine according to current resuscitation guidelines. Patients received either vasopressin (20 IU per cardiopulmonary resuscitation cycle) plus epinephrine (1 mg per resuscitation cycle) (study group; n = 48) or isotonic sodium chloride solution placebo plus epinephrine (1 mg per resuscitation cycle) (control group; n = 52) for the first 5 resuscitation cycles after randomization, followed by additional epinephrine if needed. On the first resuscitation cycle, study group patients received methylprednisolone sodium succinate (40 mg) and controls received saline placebo. Postresuscitation shock was treated with stress-dose hydrocortisone sodium succinate (300 mg daily for 7 days maximum, with gradual taper) (27 patients in the study group) or saline placebo (15 patients in the control group). Primary end points were return of spontaneous circulation for 15 minutes or longer and survival to hospital discharge.

RESULTS: Study group patients vs controls had more frequent return of spontaneous circulation (39 of 48 patients [81%] vs 27 of 52 [52%]; P = .003) and improved survival to hospital discharge (9 [19%] vs 2 [4%]; P = .02). Study group patients with postresuscitation shock vs corresponding controls had improved survival to hospital discharge (8 of 27 patients [30%] vs 0 of 15 [0%]; P = .02), improved hemodynamics and central venous oxygen saturation, and more organ failure-free days. Adverse events were similar in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSION: In this single-center trial, combined vasopressin-epinephrine and methylprednisolone during resuscitation and stress-dose hydrocortisone in postresuscitation shock improved survival in refractory in-hospital cardiac arrest.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00411879.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"