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Physiology International
Authors: E. Kovács, D. Pilecky, Z. Szakál-Tóth, A. Fekete-Győr, V.A. Gyarmathy, L. Gellér, B. Hauser, J. Gál, B. Merkely and E. Zima

Abstract

Aim

We investigated the effect of age on post-cardiac arrest treatment outcomes in an elderly population, based on a local database and a systemic review of the literature.

Methods

Data were collected retrospectively from medical charts and reports. Sixty-one comatose patients, cooled to 32–34 °C for 24 h, were categorized into three groups: younger group (≤65 years), older group (66–75 years), and very old group (>75 years). Circumstances of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), patients' characteristics, post-resuscitation treatment, hemodynamic monitoring, neurologic outcome and survival were compared across age groups. Kruskal-Wallis test, Chi-square test and binary logistic regression (BLR) were applied. In addition, a literature search of PubMed/Medline database was performed to provide a background.

Results

Age was significantly associated with having a cardiac arrest on a monitor and a history of hypertension. No association was found between age and survival or neurologic outcome. Age did not affect hemodynamic parameter changes during target temperature management (TTM), except mean arterial pressure (MAP). Need of catecholamine administration was the highest among very old patients. During the literature review, seven papers were identified. Most studies had a retrospective design and investigated interventions and outcome, but lacked unified age categorization. All studies reported worse survival in the elderly, although old survivors showed a favorable neurologic outcome in most of the cases.

Conclusion

There is no evidence to support the limitation of post-cardiac arrest therapy in the aging population. Furthermore, additional prospective studies are needed to investigate the characteristics and outcome of post-cardiac arrest therapy in this patient group.

Open access