Pulmonary ventilation/perfusion defects induced by epinephrine during cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Wanchun TangJ Bisera


Epinephrine has been shown to impair pulmonary excretion of CO2 during resuscitation. This phenomenon was investigated in a rodent model of cardiac arrest and conventional resuscitation. The effects of racemic epinephrine were compared with the selective alpha 1-agonist methoxamine and with saline placebo during cardiac resuscitation in 15 Sprague-Dawley rats mechanically ventilated with gas containing 70% oxygen. Epinephrine and methoxamine but not saline placebo significantly increased coronary perfusion pressure from approximately 32 to 55 mm Hg. Following epinephrine, end-tidal PCO2 decreased from approximately 10 to 5 mm Hg. This was associated with a time-coincident decrease in PaO2 from approximately 130 to 74 mm Hg and an increase in PaCO2 from approximately 26 to 40 mm Hg. These changes indicated increases in alveolar dead space ventilation concomitant with increases in pulmonary arteriovenous admixture. No such effects were observed after administration of either methoxamine or saline placebo. Each of the 15 rats was successfully resuscitated. However, a significantly larger number of transthoracic countershocks were required after epinephrine compared with methoxamine or placebo before return of spontaneous circulati...Continue Reading


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