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Surgical coronary revascularization and antiarrhythmic therapy in survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0003-4975(02)04086-9
  • Original Article: Cardiovascular
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract Background Patients who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are at high risk for recurrent arrest. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) confers a survival advantage, but it is unclear whether antiarrhythmic drugs or an implanted defibrillator confer added benefit. This study was designed to determine predictors for further treatment, survival, and therapeutic internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) discharge in this patient population. Methods One hundred and eight patients undergoing CABG after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were identified over a 12-year period. Case records were retrospectively reviewed. Follow-up was obtained and predictors of outcome events were analyzed. Results Fifty-four (50%) patients underwent CABG only. Fifty-four received additional treatment that included ICD placement in 23 (21%), antiarrhythmic medications in 19 (18%), or both in 12 (11%). Predictors of ICD placement included left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) less than 40% and perioperative intraaortic balloon counterpulsation. ICD or medical management increased survival in patients with LVEF <40%. Predictors of increased mortality included age >65 years, Cleveland Severity Score >8, and female gender. Predictors of therapeutic ICD discharge included age >65 years, reoperative CABG, LVEF <40%, and positive postoperative electrophysiological (EP) study. No patient with a negative postoperative EP study received an ICD, and none suffered sudden cardiac death during follow-up. Conclusions Patients with coronary artery disease anatomically suitable for CABG who survive an acute out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should undergo EP testing after CABG. Approximately half of these patients are adequately treated by CABG alone. The remainder may benefit from ICD placement or medical antiarrhythmic management.

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