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This article is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of Critical Care, Volume 36, December 2016, Pages 218-222.

The published version is available at Copyright © Johnson et al.


PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to determine the association between hemoglobin concentration (Hgb) and neurologic outcome in postarrest patients.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Penn Alliance for Therapeutic Hypothermia (PATH) cardiac arrest registry. Inclusion criteria were resuscitated cardiac arrest (inhospital or out of hospital) and an Hgb value recorded within 24 hours of return of spontaneous circulation. The primary outcome was favorable neurologic status at hospital discharge. Survival to hospital discharge was a secondary outcome.

RESULTS: There were 598 eligible patients from 21 hospitals. Patients with favorable neurologic outcome had significantly higher median Hgb in the first 2 hours (12.7 vs 10.5 g/dL; P < .001) and 6 hours (12.6 vs 10.6 g/dL; P < .001) postarrest. Controlling for age, pulseless rhythm, etiology, location of arrest, receipt of targeted temperature management, hematologic or metastatic malignancy, or preexisting renal insufficiency, there was a significant relationship between Hgb and neurologic outcome within the first 6 hours after arrest (odds ratio, 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.38) and survival to hospital discharge (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.34).

CONCLUSION: Higher Hgb after cardiac arrest is associated with favorable neurologic outcome, particularly within the first 6 hours. It is unclear if this effect is due to impaired oxygen delivery or if Hgb is a marker for more severe illness.

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