- Journal club critique
- Open Access
Thrombolysis during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a lesson in the law of diminishing returns
© BioMed Central Ltd 2010
- Published: 22 March 2010
Evidence-Based Medicine Journal Club
Edited by Eric B Milbrandt. University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine
Böttiger BW, Arntz HR, Chamberlain DA, Bluhmki E, Belmans A, Danays T, Carli PA, Adgey JA, Bode C, Wenzel V: Thrombolysis during resuscitation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med 2008, 359:2651-2662 .
Approximately 70% of persons who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have underlying acute myocardial infarction or pulmonary embolism. Therefore, thrombolysis during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may improve survival.
To determine whether thrombolysis with the use of tenecteplase during cardiopulmonary resuscitation can improve survival in adults with witnessed out-of-hospital arrest of presumed cardiac origin.
Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial.
66 European emergency medical-service systems.
1050 adult patients with witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
We randomly assigned adult patients with witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to receive tenecteplase or placebo during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Adjunctive heparin or aspirin was not used.
The primary end point was 30-day survival; the secondary end points were hospital admission, return of spontaneous circulation, 24-hour survival, survival to hospital discharge, and neurologic outcome.
After blinded review of data from the first 443 patients, the data and safety monitoring board recommended discontinuation of enrollment of asystolic patients because of low survival, and the protocol was amended. Subsequently, the trial was terminated prematurely for futility after enrolling a total of 1050 patients. Tenecteplase was administered to 525 patients and placebo to 525 patients; the two treatment groups had similar clinical profiles. We did not detect any significant differences between tenecteplase and placebo in the primary end point of 30-day survival (14.7% vs. 17.0%; P = 0.36; relative risk, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.65 to 1.15) or in the secondary end points of hospital admission (53.5% vs. 55.0%, P = 0.67), return of spontaneous circulation (55.0% vs. 54.6%, P = 0.96), 24-hour survival (30.6% vs. 33.3%, P = 0.39), survival to hospital discharge (15.1% vs. 17.5%, P = 0.33), or neurologic outcome (P = 0.69). There were more intracranial hemorrhages in the tenecteplase group.
When tenecteplase was used without adjunctive antithrombotic therapy during advanced life support for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, we did not detect an improvement in outcome, in comparison with placebo. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00157261.)
Based on the results of the TROICA trial, there seems to be no benefit from the use of tenecteplase without adjunctive antithrombotic therapy in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. No such conclusion can be made regarding the subgroup of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism and the results should not be generalized to the inpatient setting.
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