The effects of nitroglycerin during cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Varvarousis, Dimitrios P.
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The outcome for both in-hospital and out-of hospital cardiac arrest remains dismal. Vasopressors are used to increase coronary perfusion pressure and thus facilitate return of spontaneous circulation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, they are associated with a number of potential adverse effects and may decrease endocardial and cerebral organ blood flow. Nitroglycerin has a favourable haemodynamic profile which promotes forward blood flow. Several studies suggest that combined use of nitroglycerin with vasopressors during resuscitation, is associated with increased rates of resuscitation and improved post-resuscitation outcome. This article reviews the effects of nitroglycerin during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and postresuscitation period, as well as the beneficial outcomes of a combination regimen consisting of a vasopressor and a vasodilator, such as nitroglycerin.