Regional Cerebral Oximetry During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Useful or Useless?

Cornelia Genbrugge, Jo Dens, Ingrid Meex, Willem Boer, Ward Eertmans, Marc Sabbe, Frank Jans, Cathy De Deyne
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2016, 50 (1): 198-207

BACKGROUND: Approximately 375,000 people annually experience sudden cardiac arrest (CA) in Europe. Most patients who survive the initial hours and days after CA die of postanoxic brain damage. Current monitors, such as electrocardiography and end-tidal capnography, provide only indirect information about the condition of the brain during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In contrast, cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy provides continuous, noninvasive, real-time information about brain oxygenation without the need for a pulsatile blood flow. It measures transcutaneous cerebral tissue oxygen saturation (rSO2). This information could supplement currently used monitors. Moreover, an evolution in rSO2 monitoring technology has made it easier to assess rSO2 in CA conditions.

OBJECTIVE: We give an overview of the literature regarding rSO2 measurements during CPR and the current commercially available devices. We highlight the feasibility of cerebral saturation measurement during CPR, its role as a quality parameter of CPR, predictor of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and neurologic outcome, and its monitoring function during transport.

DISCUSSION: rSO2 is feasible in the setting of CA and has the potential to measure the quality of CPR, predict ROSC and neurologic outcome, and monitor post-CA patients during transport.

CONCLUSION: The literature shows that rSO2 has the potential to serve multiple roles as a neuromonitoring tool during CPR and also to guide neuroprotective therapeutic strategies.

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