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Critical Care  2010 

Does anesthetic provide similar neuroprotection to therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest?

DOI: 10.1186/cc8923

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Therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to provide neuroprotection against ischemic injury after cardiac arrest in in vitro and in vivo models. In the previous issue of Critical Care, Meybohm and colleagues [1] demonstrate that cardiac arrest triggers the release of cerebral inflammatory cytokines in pigs' cerebral cortex. Therapeutic hypothermia alters inflammatory response in cardiac arrest and subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The combination of hypothermia with sevoflurane post-conditioning does not confer additional anti-inflammatory effects compared with hypothermia alone.Cardiac arrest remains the leading cause of death in the US and Europe, with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival-to-discharge rate of less than 10%. In-hospital cardiac arrest presents a dismal prognosis. According to a large in-hospital registry, the survival-to-discharge rate is 18%, whereas that of a developing country is 6.9% [2,3]. Without prompt care, the chance for meaningful survival falls dramatically within minutes of arrest onset. When immediate care is available and victims are successfully resuscitated, the majority of these initial survivors subsequently suffer crippling neurologic injury or die in the few days following the cardiac arrest event. Thus, improving survival and brain function after initial resuscitation from cardiac arrest remains a critical challenge. Therapeutic hypothermia, introduced more than six decades ago, remains an important neuroprotective factor in cardiac arrest. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that cooling after resuscitation from cardiac arrest improves both survival as well as subsequent neurologic and cardiac function and has few side effects. these findings have been reproduced using a variety of cooling techniques in different species, including rats, dogs, and pigs.However, physician use of hypothermia induction in patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest is low. In 2003, Abella and colleagues [4] reported that 87% of US phys


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