RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Ventricular fibrillation waveform measures and the etiology of cardiac arrest.

Resuscitation 2016 December
BACKGROUND: Early determination of the acute etiology of cardiac arrest could help guide resuscitation or post-resuscitation care. In experimental studies, quantitative measures of the ventricular fibrillation waveform distinguish ischemic from non-ischemic etiology.

METHODS: We investigated whether waveform measures distinguished arrest etiology among adults treated by EMS for out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation between January 1, 2006-December 31, 2014. Etiology was classified using hospital information into three exclusive groups: acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), ACS without ST elevation (non-STEMI), or non-ischemic arrest. Waveform measures included amplitude spectrum area (AMSA), centroid frequency (CF), mean frequency (MF), and median slope (MS) assessed during CPR-free epochs immediately prior to the initial and second shock. Waveform measures prior to the initial shock and the changes between first and second shock were compared by etiology group. We a priori chose a significance level of 0.01 due to multiple comparisons.

RESULTS: Of the 430 patients, 35% (n=150) were classified as STEMI, 29% (n=123) as non-STEMI, and 37% (n=157) with non-ischemic arrest. We did not observe differences by etiology in any of the waveform measures prior to shock 1 (Kruskal-Wallis Test) (p=0.28 for AMSA, p=0.07 for CF, p=0.63 for MF, and p=0.39 for MS). We also did not observe differences for change in waveform between shock 1 and 2, or when the two acute ischemia groups (STEMI and non-STEMI) were combined and compared to the non-ischemic group.

CONCLUSION: This clinical investigation suggests that waveform measures may not be useful in distinguishing cardiac arrest etiology.

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