CAD is a common substrate, and its severity is a potential trigger for OHCA, especially in the case of shockable rhythms. Patients with VF/pVT OHCA should be considered at the highest severity of a continuum of acute coronary syndromes. Patients with VF/pVT have a significant burden of CAD: acute, chronic, or acute on chronic (Figure 8)…
Current guidelines recommend early CAG and reperfusion for postarrest patients manifesting ST-segment elevation after ROSC is achieved. However, because of a lack of conclusive randomized data and ongoing perceived clinical equipoise, there is no consensus guideline on the use of CAG and coronary revascularization in patients without ST-segment elevation on ECG. Multiple randomized trials addressing this question are underway. Until their completion, there is a significant body of observational studies that address the role of the CCL in this population.
The current evidence suggests that early access to the CCL in patients resuscitated from VF/pVT cardiac arrest is associated with 2- to 3-fold higher functionally favorable survival rates than more conservative approaches of late or no access to the CCL. This body of evidence, with potential for unmeasured selection bias, suggests that patients resuscitated from OHCA, especially those with presenting shockable rhythms, should be considered for early CAG, identification of reversible causes, and revascularization when indicated.
This is in line with the current ACLS guidelines, which say that if there’s ST elevation post ROSC an immediate trip to the cath lab carries a class I recommendation. For patients without STE, the guidelines give a IIa recommendation to go straight to the cath lab if the arrest is of suspected cardiac origin on clinical grounds.