Blood pressure targets and management during post-cardiac arrest care

Markus B. Skrifvars*, Koen Ameloot, Anders Åneman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Blood pressure is one modifiable physiological target in patients treated in the intensive care unit after cardiac arrest. Current Guidelines recommend targeting a mean arterial pressure (MAP) of higher than 65–70 mmHg using fluid resuscitation and the use of vasopressors. Management strategies will vary based in the setting, i.e. the pre-hospital compared to the in-hospital phase. Epidemiological data suggest that some degree of hypotension requiring vasopressors occur in almost 50% of patients. A higher MAP could theoretically increase coronary blood flow but on the other hand the use of vasopressor may result in an increase in cardiac oxygen demand and arrhythmia. An adequate MAP is paramount for maintaining cerebral blood flow. In some cardiac arrest patients the cerebral autoregulation may be disturbed resulting in the need for higher MAP in order to avoid decreasing cerebral blood flow. Thus far, four studies including little more than 1000 patients have compared a lower and higher MAP target in cardiac arrest patients. The achieved mean difference of MAP between groups has varied from 10–15 mmHg. Based on these studies a Bayesian meta-analysis suggests that the posterior probability that a future study would find treatment effects higher than a 5% difference between groups to be less than 50%. On the other hand, this analysis also suggests, that the likelihood of harm with a higher MAP target is also low. Noteworthy is that all studies to date have focused mainly on patients with a cardiac cause of the arrest with the majority of patients being resuscitated from a shockable initial rhythm. Future studies should aim to include also non-cardiac causes and aim to target a wider separation in MAP between groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109886
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Mean arterial blood pressure
  • Post cardiac arrest care
  • Shock
  • Vasopressors


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