Changes of end-tidal carbon dioxide during cardiopulmonary resuscitation from ventricular fibrillation versus asphyxial cardiac arrest

Qing-Ming Lin, Xiang-Shao Fang, Li-Li Zhou, Yue Fu, Jun Zhu, Zi-Tong Huang
World Journal of Emergency Medicine 2014, 5 (2): 116-21

BACKGROUND: Partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2) has been used to monitor the effectiveness of precordial compression (PC) and regarded as a prognostic value of outcomes in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This study was to investigate changes of PETCO2 during CPR in rats with ventricular fibrillation (VF) versus asphyxial cardiac arrest.

METHODS: Sixty-two male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into an asphyxial group (n=32) and a VF group (n=30). PETCO2 was measured during CPR from a 6-minute period of VF or asphyxial cardiac arrest.

RESULTS: The initial values of PETCO2 immediately after PC in the VF group were significantly lower than those in the asphyxial group (12.8±4.87 mmHg vs. 49.2±8.13 mmHg, P=0.000). In the VF group, the values of PETCO2 after 6 minutes of PC were significantly higher in rats with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), compared with those in rats without ROSC (16.5±3.07 mmHg vs. 13.2±2.62 mmHg, P=0.004). In the asphyxial group, the values of PETCO2 after 2 minutes of PC in rats with ROSC were significantly higher than those in rats without ROSC (20.8±3.24 mmHg vs. 13.9±1.50 mmHg, P=0.000). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves of PETCO2 showed significant sensitivity and specificity for predicting ROSC in VF versus asphyxial cardiac arrest.

CONCLUSIONS: The initial values of PETCO2 immediately after CPR may be helpful in differentiating the causes of cardiac arrest. Changes of PETCO2 during CPR can predict outcomes of CPR.

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