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The Resuscitation Outcome*: Revisit the Story of the Stony Heart

Ayman A. El-Menyar, MD, MRCP
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*From the Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, State of Qatar.

Correspondence to: Ayman Ahmed El-Menyar, MD, Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hamad Medical Corporation and Hamad General Hospital, PO Box 3050, Doha, State of Qatar; e-mail: aymanco65@yahoo.com



Chest. 2005;128(4):2835-2846. doi:10.1378/chest.128.4.2835
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Postresuscitation syndrome is a state of myocardial dysfunction after the restoration of circulation by successful resuscitation. Despite several advances in the field of resuscitation, the management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is still suboptimal. The high fatality rate shortly after successful resuscitation is mainly related to postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction. Postresuscitation myocardial stunning is reversible, while stony heart is irreversible due to prolonged unsuccessful resuscitation. This article reviews most of the published articles concerning the causes, mechanism, pathophysiology, and the updated trials for management of postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction. Further studies are warranted to highlight postresuscitation disease and its hemodynamic sequences and then to intervene according to the different phases of cardiac arrest. By modifying the conventional modalities of resuscitation together with new promising agents, the rescuers will be able to salvage the jeopardized postresuscitation myocardium and prevent its progression to the dismal stony heart. Community awareness and staff education are crucial to shorten resuscitation time and improve short-term and long-term outcomes. There is an urgent need to revise the guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in community setting, but how? It is a matter of where and when it is of enough value to be efficacious and cost-effective.


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