Lack of uniform definitions and reporting in laboratory models of cardiac arrest: A review of the literature and a proposal for guidelines

Ahamed H. Idris, Lance B. Becker, Volker Wenzel, Ronnie S. Fuerst, Nikolaus Gravenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations


Background: Researchers are interested in improved uniformity of definitions and standards of reporting data for human CPR studies, and international guidelines (Utstein style) have been developed. However, no guidelines exist for animal CPR investigations. Objective: To assess published animal CPR studies for adequacy of reporting and uniformity of methods and definitions regarding such important factors as the interval from the onset of ventricular fibrillation to the start of CPR (the nonintervention interval), ventilation, chest compression, coronary perfusion pressure, and return of spontaneous circulation. Design: A blinded review of the methodology described in 42 articles concerned with animal CPR research published during the last ten years. An article had to report cardiac arrest and CPR as part of the protocol and return of spontaneous circulation as one of the outcome variables in order to be included in this study. We excluded abstracts, nonresuscitation models, and human CPR studies. Measurements and main results: There was wide variation in the experimental methods reported in the studies. The nonintervention interval ranged from 0 to 15 minutes. The majority of studies initiated CPR within three minutes after the onset of ventricular fibrillation. Twenty-two percent of studies reported tidal volume, and 18% reported minute ventilation. Of the 14 studies that used blood pressure or coronary perfusion pressure as a target for titration of chest compression force, 12 used different target blood pressure values. We found 29 different definitions of return of spontaneous circulation. The duration of return of spontaneous circulation ranged from 30 seconds to 60 minutes; however, 52% of studies did not report a duration. Conclusion: Important differences exist in animal CPR research methodology among laboratories. Failure to define or report minute ventilation, coronary perfusion pressure, and return of spontaneous circulation made it difficult to compare studies. In order to make valid comparisons of studies, blood flow and ventilation should be measured and controlled when they are not experimental variables. Uniform definitions and guidelines for reporting should be developed for laboratory CPR research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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