The Influence of Therapeutics on Prognostication After Cardiac Arrest
Current Treatment Options in Neurology, November 2019
Sachin Agarwal, Nicholas Morris, Caroline Der-Nigoghossian, Teresa May, Daniel Brodie
The goal of this review is to highlight the influence of therapeutic maneuvers on neuro-prognostication measures administered to comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. We focus on the effect of sedation regimens in the setting of targeted temperature management (TTM), one of the principle interventions known to improve neurological recovery after cardiac arrest. Further, we discuss the critical need for novel markers, as well as refinement of existing markers, among patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the setting of failed conventional resuscitation, known as extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR). Automated pupillometry may have some advantage over standard pupillary examination for prognostication following TTM, sedation, or the use of ECMO after cardiac arrest. New serum biomarkers such as Neurofilament light chain have shown good predictive abilities and need further validation in these populations. There is a high-level uncertainty in brain death declaration protocols particularly related to apnea testing and appropriate ancillary tests in patients receiving ECMO. Both sedation and TTM alone and in combination have been shown to affect prognostic markers to varying degrees. The optimal approach to analog-sedation is unknown, and requires further study. Moreover, validation of known prognostic markers, as well as brain death declaration processes in patients receiving ECMO is warranted. Data on the effects of TTM, sedation, and ECMO on biomarkers (e.g., neuron-specific enolase) and electrophysiology measures (e.g., somatosensory-evoked potentials) is sparse. The best approach may be one customized to the individual patient, a precision-medicine approach.
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