To identify factors associated with the initial rhythm in patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest and to assess whether potential differences in outcomes based on the initial rhythm can be explained by patient and event characteristics.
Adult patients (≥18 years old) with in-hospital cardiac arrest in 2017 and 2018 were included from the Danish In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Registry (DANARREST). We used population-based registries to obtain data on comorbidities, cardiac procedures, and medications. Unadjusted and adjusted risk ratios (RRs) for initial rhythm, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and survival were estimated in separate models including an incremental number of prespecified variables.
A total of 3,422 patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest were included, of which 639 (19%) had an initial shockable rhythm. Monitored cardiac arrest, witnessed cardiac arrest, and specific cardiac diseases (i.e. ischemic heart disease, dysrhythmias, and valvular heart disease) were associated with initial shockable rhythm. Conversely, higher age, female sex, and specific non-cardiovascular comorbidities (e.g. overweight and obesity, renal disease, and pulmonary cancer) were associated with an initial non-shockable rhythm. Initial shockable rhythm remained strongly associated with increased ROSC (RR = 1.63, 95%CI 1.51-1.76), 30-day survival (RR = 2.31, 95%CI 2.02-2.64), and 1-year survival (RR = 2.36, 95%CI 2.02-2.76) compared to initial non-shockable rhythm in the adjusted analyses.
In this study, specific patient and cardiac arrest characteristics were associated with initial rhythm in patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest. However, differences in patient and cardiac arrest characteristics did not fully explain the association with survival for initial shockable rhythm compared to a non-shockable rhythm.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.