, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 1248-1255
Date: 18 Mar 2010

Terlipressin versus adrenaline in an infant animal model of asphyxial cardiac arrest

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Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of terlipressin versus adrenaline in an experimental infant animal model of asphyxial cardiac arrest (ACA).

Design

Prospective randomised animal study.

Setting

Laboratory research department of a university hospital.

Methods

Seventy-one, 2-month-old, mechanically ventilated piglets were investigated. ACA was induced by removal of mechanical ventilation. Resuscitation was performed by means of manual external chest compressions and mechanical ventilation (CC + V). After 3 min of CC + V, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was observed in 11 animals. The 60 piglets without ROSC were then randomised to the four study groups: adrenaline standard dose (Asd): 0.01 mg/kg/3 min; adrenaline high dose (Ahd): first dose (0.01 mg/kg) and subsequent doses (0.1 mg/kg/3 min); terlipressin (T): 20 µg/kg/6 min; and adrenaline standard dose plus terlipressin (Asd + T).

Measurements and results

The relationship between haemodynamic (heart rate, blood pressure, ECG rhythm, cardiac index), respiratory (end-tidal CO2, blood gas analysis) and tissue perfusion (gastric intramucosal pH, central, cerebral and renal saturation) parameters and ROSC was analysed. ROSC was achieved in three piglets treated with Asd (20%), four treated with Ahd (26.7%), one treated with T (6.7%) and seven treated with Asd + T (46.7%) (P = 0.099). ROSC was achieved in 43.1% of animals with pulseless electrical activity, 30.4% with asystole and none with ventricular fibrillation (P = 0.0001).

Conclusion

In this infant animal model of cardiac arrest, there was a non-significant trend towards better outcome when terlipressin was combined with adrenaline compared with the use of adrenaline or terlipressin alone.