Hemoglobin (Hb) is a main determinant of tissue oxygen delivery and anemia could be particularly harmful in post-anoxic brain injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of Hb and venous Hb oxygen saturation (SvO/ScvO) with long-term neurological outcome in patients admitted after cardiac arrest (CA).
Analysis of adult CA patients admitted to the Department of Intensive Care of the Erasme University Hospital (Brussels, Belgium) over 9 years. We retrieved all data concerning CA characteristics as well as Hb during the first 48 hours since injury as well as the need for red blood cells transfusions (RBCT). Minimum Hb and Hb oxygen saturation values were recorded. Neurological outcome was evaluated 3 months after CA. Unfavorable neurological outcome (UO) was defined as a Cerebral Performance Categories (CPC) score of 3-5.
We treated 414 patients patients with CA, including 231 (56%) out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and 158 (38%) with an initial shockable rhythm. Median Hb concentration on admission was 12.0 [9.9-13.7] g/dL and the lowest Hb concentration was 10.0 [8.1-11.0] g/dL; 127 patients (31%) received at least one RBCT. Hb oxygen saturation on admission was 67 [59-74]%, while the lowest value was 60 [53-68]%. Low Hb and Hb oxygen saturation values were independently associated with UO; the optimal cut-off to predict UO was <9.9 g/dL and < 60%, respectively.
Low hemoglobin values and low values of oxygen venous saturation are significantly associated with unfavorable neurological outcome in adult patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest.

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