Survival of cardiac arrest after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

L. Gerard Toussaint, Jonathan A. Friedman, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, David G. Piepgras, Mark A. Pichelmann, Jon I. McIver, Robyn L. McClelland, Douglas A. Nichols, Fredric B. Meyer, John L.D. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Survival of cardiac arrest (CA) after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is poorly characterized. We analyzed the clinical course and outcome of patients who survived resuscitation for CA after aneurysmal SAH. METHODS: Medical records of all patients with acute SAH treated at Mayo Clinic between 1990 and 1997 were reviewed. Three hundred five consecutive patients with angiographically proven aneurysmal SAH presenting within 7 days of ictus were analyzed. CA was defined as a pulseless state, documented by medical personnel, for which resuscitation was performed. Outcome was measured with the Glasgow Outcome Scale score at longest follow-up (mean, 16 mo). RESULTS: Data from 11 patients (3.6%) who had 14 episodes of CA were analyzed. Six patients had CA before reaching the hospital and were successfully resuscitated. Nine of 14 CA episodes occurred at hemorrhage or rehemorrhage. No patient with in-hospital CA failed to be resuscitated. Overall mortality in patients who had CA (46%) was higher than that of patients without CA (15%; P = 0.019). Outcome for all patients who had CA (mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score, 2.5) was worse than for patients without CA (mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score, 3.9; P = 0.005). However, half of the survivors of CA after SAH were living independently with limited deficit at longest follow-up. CONCLUSION: Most cases of CA occur at the time of initial or recurrent SAH. Resuscitation for in-hospital CA is likely to be successful. Although CA after aneurysmal SAH is associated with significantly higher mortality, the outcome of survivors of CA is not worse than that for other patients after aneurysmal SAH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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