par Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | April 01, 2009
"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 likely to be performed on patients with better neurological status. However, with the use of therapeutic hypothermia, patients may not reveal their true neurological state for several days after the return of spontaneous blood circulation, they noted.
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