Carbon dioxide dynamics in relation to neurological outcome in resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients

an exploratory Target Temperature Management trial substudy

Florian Ebner*, Matt B. A. Harmon, Anders Aneman, Tobias Cronberg, Hans Friberg, Christian Hassager, Nicole Juffermans, Jesper Kjærgaard, Michael Kuiper, Niklas Mattsson, Paolo Pelosi, Susann Ullén, Johan Undén, Matt P. Wise, Niklas Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Dyscarbia is common in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients and its association to neurological outcome is undetermined. Methods: This is an exploratory post-hoc substudy of the Target Temperature Management (TTM) trial, including resuscitated OHCA patients, investigating the association between serial measurements of arterial partial carbon dioxide pressure (PaCO2) and neurological outcome at 6months, defined by the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) scale, dichotomized to good outcome (CPC 1 and 2) and poor outcome (CPC 3-5). The effects of hypercapnia and hypocapnia, and the time-weighted mean PaCO2 and absolute PaCO2 difference were analyzed. Additionally, the association between mild hypercapnia (6.0-7.30kPa) and neurological outcome, its interaction with target temperature (33°C and 36°C), and the association between PaCO2 and peak serum-Tau were evaluated. Results: Of the 939 patients in the TTM trial, 869 were eligible for analysis. Ninety-six percent of patients were exposed to hypocapnia or hypercapnia. None of the analyses indicated a statistical significant association between PaCO2 and neurological outcome (P=0.13-0.96). Mild hypercapnia was not associated with neurological outcome (P=0.78) and there was no statistically significant interaction with target temperature (P interaction=0.95). There was no association between PaCO2 and peak serum-Tau levels 48 or 72h after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Conclusions: Dyscarbia is common after ROSC. No statistically significant association between PaCO2 in the post-cardiac arrest phase and neurological outcome at 6 months after cardiac arrest was detected. There was no significant interaction between mild hypercapnia and temperature in relation to neurological outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number196
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. 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.


  • Biomarker
  • Carbon dioxide partial pressure
  • Cerebral performance
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Serum Tau

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