Neuropsychological outcome after cardiac arrest: results from a sub-study of the targeted hypothermia versus targeted normothermia after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (TTM2) trial

Erik Blennow Nordström*, Susanna Vestberg, Lars Evald, Marco Mion, Magnus Segerström, Susann Ullén, John Bro-Jeppesen, Hans Friberg, Katarina Heimburg, Anders M. Grejs, Thomas R. Keeble, Hans Kirkegaard, Hanna Ljung, Sofia Rose, Matthew P. Wise, Christian Rylander, Johan Undén, Niklas Nielsen, Tobias Cronberg, Gisela Lilja

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Background: Cognitive impairment is common following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), but the nature of the impairment is poorly understood. Our objective was to describe cognitive impairment in OHCA survivors, with the hypothesis that OHCA survivors would perform significantly worse on neuropsychological tests of cognition than controls with acute myocardial infarction (MI). Another aim was to investigate the relationship between cognitive performance and the associated factors of emotional problems, fatigue, insomnia, and cardiovascular risk factors following OHCA. Methods: This was a prospective case–control sub-study of The Targeted Hypothermia versus Targeted Normothermia after Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (TTM2) trial. Eight of 61 TTM2-sites in Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom included adults with OHCA of presumed cardiac or unknown cause. A matched non-arrest control group with acute MI was recruited. At approximately 7 months post-event, we administered an extensive neuropsychological test battery and questionnaires on anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia, and collected information on the cardiovascular risk factors hypertension and diabetes. Results: Of 184 eligible OHCA survivors, 108 were included, with 92 MI controls enrolled. Amongst OHCA survivors, 29% performed z-score ≤ − 1 (at least borderline–mild impairment) in ≥ 2 cognitive domains, 14% performed z-score ≤ − 2 (major impairment) in ≥ 1 cognitive domain while 54% performed without impairment in any domain. Impairment was most pronounced in episodic memory, executive functions, and processing speed. OHCA survivors performed significantly worse than MI controls in episodic memory (mean difference, MD = − 0.37, 95% confidence intervals [− 0.61, − 0.12]), verbal (MD = − 0.34 [− 0.62, − 0.07]), and visual/constructive functions (MD = − 0.26 [− 0.47, − 0.04]) on linear regressions adjusted for educational attainment and sex. When additionally adjusting for anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, hypertension, and diabetes, executive functions (MD = − 0.44 [− 0.82, − 0.06]) were also worse following OHCA. Diabetes, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue were significantly associated with worse cognitive performance. Conclusions: In our study population, cognitive impairment was generally mild following OHCA. OHCA survivors performed worse than MI controls in 3 of 6 domains. These results support current guidelines that a post-OHCA follow-up service should screen for cognitive impairment, emotional problems, and fatigue. Trial registration :, NCT03543371. Registered 1 June 2018.

TidsskriftCritical Care
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2023


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