The physiologic response to epinephrine and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation outcomes

the ICU-RESUS and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network Investigator Groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Epinephrine is provided during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to increase systemic vascular resistance and generate higher diastolic blood pressure (DBP) to improve coronary perfusion and attain return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). The DBP response to epinephrine during pediatric CPR and its association with outcomes have not been well described. Thus, the objective of this study was to measure the association between change in DBP after epinephrine administration during CPR and ROSC. Methods: This was a prospective multicenter study of children receiving ≥ 1 min of CPR with ≥ 1 dose of epinephrine and evaluable invasive arterial BP data in the 18 ICUs of the ICU-RESUS trial (NCT02837497). Blood pressure waveforms underwent compression-by-compression quantitative analysis. The mean DBP before first epinephrine dose was compared to mean DBP two minutes post-epinephrine. Patients with ≥ 5 mmHg increase in DBP were characterized as “responders.” Results: Among 147 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 66 (45%) were characterized as responders and 81 (55%) were non-responders. The mean increase in DBP with epinephrine was 4.4 [− 1.9, 11.5] mmHg (responders: 13.6 [7.5, 29.3] mmHg versus non-responders: − 1.5 [− 5.0, 1.5] mmHg; p < 0.001). After controlling for a priori selected covariates, epinephrine response was associated with ROSC (aRR 1.60 [1.21, 2.12]; p = 0.001). Sensitivity analyses identified similar associations between DBP response thresholds of ≥ 10, 15, and 20 mmHg and ROSC; DBP responses of ≥ 10 and ≥ 15 mmHg were associated with higher aRR of survival to hospital discharge and survival with favorable neurologic outcome (Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category score of 1–3 or no worsening from baseline). Conclusions: The change in DBP following epinephrine administration during pediatric in-hospital CPR was associated with return of spontaneous circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


  • Adrenaline
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Epinephrine
  • Pediatrics


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