Aim: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between transient return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) before extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) initiation and outcomes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients, who were resuscitated with extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR). Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of the SAVE-J II study, which was a retrospective multicentre registry study involving 36 participating institutions in Japan. We classified patients into two groups according to the presence or absence of transient ROSC before ECMO initiation. Transient ROSC was defined as any palpable pulse of ≥1 min before ECMO initiation. The primary outcome was favourable neurological outcomes (cerebral performance categories 1–2). Results: Of 2,157 patients registered in the SAVE-J II study, 1,501 met the study inclusion criteria; 328 (22%) experienced transient ROSC before ECMO initiation. Patients with transient ROSC had better outcomes than those without ROSC (favourable neurological outcome, 26% vs 12%, P < 0.001; survival to hospital discharge, 46% vs 24%, respectively; P < 0.001). A Kaplan–Meier plot showed better survival in the transient ROSC group (log-rank test, P < 0.001). In multiple logistic analyses, transient ROSC was significantly associated with favourable neurological outcomes and survival (favourable neurological outcomes, adjusted odds ratio, 3.34 [95% confidence interval, 2.35–4.73]; survival, adjusted odds ratio, 3.99 [95% confidence interval, 2.95–5.40]). Conclusions: In OHCA patients resuscitated with ECPR, transient ROSC before ECMO initiation was associated with favourable outcomes. Hence, transient ROSC is a predictor of improved outcomes after ECPR.
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