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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Resuscitation, Volume 96, November 2015, Pages 186-191.

The published version is available at Copyright © Elsevier


OBJECTIVE: Determination of clinical outcomes following resuscitation from cardiac arrest remains elusive in the immediate post-arrest period. Echocardiographic assessment shortly after resuscitation has largely focused on left ventricular (LV) function. We aimed to determine whether post-arrest right ventricular (RV) dysfunction predicts worse survival and poor neurologic outcome in cardiac arrest patients, independent of LV dysfunction.

METHODS: A single-center, retrospective cohort study at a tertiary care university hospital participating in the Penn Alliance for Therapeutic Hypothermia (PATH) Registry between 2000 and 2012.

PATIENTS: 291 in- and out-of-hospital adult cardiac arrest patients at the University of Pennsylvania who had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and post-arrest echocardiograms.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the 291 patients, 57% were male, with a mean age of 59 ± 16 years. 179 (63%) patients had LV dysfunction, 173 (59%) had RV dysfunction, and 124 (44%) had biventricular dysfunction on the initial post-arrest echocardiogram. Independent of LV function, RV dysfunction was predictive of worse survival (mild or moderate: OR 0.51, CI 0.26-0.99, p

CONCLUSIONS: Echocardiographic findings of post-arrest RV dysfunction were equally prevalent as LV dysfunction. RV dysfunction was significantly predictive of worse outcomes in post-arrest patients after accounting for LV dysfunction. Post-arrest RV dysfunction may be useful for risk stratification and management in this high-mortality population.

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