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Coronary angiography may improve outcomes for cardiac arrest patients
Date:3/31/2009

d December 31, 2007. Coronary artery disease was present in 52 percent of the patients, and the rate did not differ between those who received coronary angiography (40 percent of the group) and those who did not. Those findings are consistent with prior research showing that 60 to 80 percent of cardiac arrests are a result of cardiovascular disease.

Just over half of patients who received coronary angiography experienced a good clinical outcome defined as being discharged to home or to an acute rehabilitation facility compared to 24.8 percent of patients who do not have the procedure. Early angiography, performed within 24 hours of a patient's arrival, was not associated with improved survival when compared to having the procedure done later, but researchers noted that the small number of patients may have made it impossible to prove a difference.

"Coronary angiography appears to put patients on a more proactive path of care, which may lead to a better outcome," said Dr. Rittenberger. "As this study demonstrates, most of these cardiac arrest patients have heart disease, which is often something that we can fix. Many of the patients who get coronary angiography go on to get bypass surgery, a balloon pump, a defibrillator or other such aggressive treatments."

Rittenberger and his colleagues found no significant differences between those who received angiography and those who did not with respect to age, history of cardiac disease and use of therapeutic hypothermia, a procedure used to cool patients who remain comatose after resuscitation following cardiac arrest to prevent brain damage. However, patient sex, location of the arrest, the initial heart rhythm disturbance and certain coronary and neurologic abnormalities were among the predictors of who would receive angiography. Men who suffered cardiac arrests outside of the hospital were more likely to have the procedure. The researchers also found that coronary angiography was more likel
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Contact: Wendy Zellner
ZellnerWL@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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