A randomized, double-blind trial comparing the effect of two blood pressure targets on global brain metabolism after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Simon Mølstrøm*, Troels Halfeld Nielsen, Carl-Henrik Nordstrøm, Axel Forsse, Søren Møller, Søren Venø, Dmitry Mamaev, Tomas Tencer, Ásta Theódórsdóttir, Thomas Krøigård, Jacob Møller, Christian Hassager, Jesper Kjærgaard, Henrik Schmidt, Palle Toft

*Corresponding author for this work


PURPOSE: This study aimed to assess the effect of different blood pressure levels on global cerebral metabolism in comatose patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

METHODS: In a double-blinded trial, we randomly assigned 60 comatose patients following OHCA to low (63 mmHg) or high (77 mmHg) mean arterial blood pressure (MAP). The trial was a sub-study in the Blood Pressure and Oxygenation Targets after Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest-trial (BOX). Global cerebral metabolism utilizing jugular bulb microdialysis (JBM) and cerebral oxygenation (rSO2) was monitored continuously for 96 h. The lactate-to-pyruvate (LP) ratio is a marker of cellular redox status and increases during deficient oxygen delivery (ischemia, hypoxia) and mitochondrial dysfunction. The primary outcome was to compare time-averaged means of cerebral energy metabolites between MAP groups during post-resuscitation care. Secondary outcomes included metabolic patterns of cerebral ischemia, rSO2, plasma neuron-specific enolase level at 48 h and neurological outcome at hospital discharge (cerebral performance category).

RESULTS: We found a clear separation in MAP between the groups (15 mmHg, p < 0.001). Cerebral biochemical variables were not significantly different between MAP groups (LPR low MAP 19 (16-31) vs. high MAP 23 (16-33), p = 0.64). However, the LP ratio remained high (> 16) in both groups during the first 30 h. During the first 24 h, cerebral lactate > 2.5 mM, pyruvate levels > 110 µM, LP ratio > 30, and glycerol > 260 µM were highly predictive for poor neurological outcome and death with AUC 0.80. The median (IQR) rSO2 during the first 48 h was 69.5% (62.0-75.0%) in the low MAP group and 69.0% (61.3-75.5%) in the high MAP group, p = 0.16.

CONCLUSIONS: Among comatose patients resuscitated from OHCA, targeting a higher MAP 180 min after ROSC did not significantly improve cerebral energy metabolism within 96 h of post-resuscitation care. Patients with a poor clinical outcome exhibited significantly worse biochemical patterns, probably illustrating that insufficient tissue oxygenation and recirculation during the initial hours after ROSC were essential factors determining neurological outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalCritical care (London, England)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)73
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2023


  • Humans
  • Blood Pressure
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Coma
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Hypertension/complications
  • Hypotension/complications
  • Lactates/metabolism
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/complications
  • Pyruvates/metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'A randomized, double-blind trial comparing the effect of two blood pressure targets on global brain metabolism after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this