Association between cardiopulmonary resuscitation duration and one-month neurological outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a prospective cohort study
© The Author(s). 2017
Received: 22 January 2017
Accepted: 13 April 2017
Published: 21 April 2017
The duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important factor associated with the outcomes for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, the appropriate CPR duration remains unclear considering pre- and in-hospital settings. The present study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the CPR duration (including both the pre- and in-hospital duration) and neurologically favorable outcomes 1-month after cardiac arrest.
Data were utilized from a prospective multi-center cohort study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients transported to 67 emergency hospitals between January 2012 and March 2013 in the Kanto area of Japan. A total of 3,353 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (age ≥18 years) who underwent CPR by emergency medical service personnel and achieved the return of spontaneous circulation in a pre- or in-hospital setting were analyzed. The primary outcome was a 1-month favorable neurological outcome. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the influence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation duration. The CPR duration that achieved a cumulative proportion >99% of cases with a 1-month neurologically favorable outcome was determined.
Of the 3,353 eligible cases, pre-hospital return of spontaneous circulation was obtained in 1,692 cases (50.5%). A total of 279 (8.3%) cases had a 1-month neurologically favorable outcome. The CPR duration was significantly and inversely associated with 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes with adjustment for pre- and in-hospital confounders (adjusted odds ratio: 0.911, per minute, 95% CI: 0.892–0.929, p < 0.001). After 30 min of CPR, the probability of a 1-month neurologically favorable outcome decreased from 8.3 to 0.7%. At 45 min of CPR, the cumulative proportion for a 1-month neurologically favorable outcome reached >99%.
The CPR duration was independently and inversely associated with 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The CPR duration required to achieve return of spontaneous circulation in >99% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with a 1-month favorable neurological outcome was 45 min, considering both pre- and in-hospital settings.
KeywordsCardiopulmonary resuscitation Emergency medical services Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest Patient outcome assessment
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is an important public health problem worldwide. Approximately 330,000 individuals in the United States and 275,000 individuals in Europe experience OHCA each year . The survival rate for OHCA remains poor, at approximately 10% [1, 2]. The cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) duration is independently and inversely associated with favorable neurological outcomes and survival [3, 4]. The optimal pre-hospital CPR duration for OHCA has been reported to be 35–48 min, after which the probability of survival falls to <1% [5, 6].
The CPR duration is probably the most important factor in the termination of resuscitation for OHCA. However, the 2010 CPR guidelines for the termination of resuscitation do not include the optimal CPR duration [7–9]. In every emergency medical service (EMS) system, patients suffering from OHCA are declared dead in the field by EMS personnel after a prescribed CPR duration has been exceeded (often 30 min) . Therefore, it is very important to estimate how long CPR should be continued. However, most prior studies have focused on CPR duration in a pre-hospital setting and do not include CPR duration in a hospital setting. In urban areas, most OHCA patients are transported to emergency hospitals within the timeframe of the reported optimal pre-hospital CPR duration. Therefore, an optimal CPR duration that includes in-hospital circumstances is needed [5, 6, 11, 12]. In addition, the confounding factors both outside and inside the hospital should be assessed.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between CPR duration (including both pre- and in-hospital settings) and neurologically favorable outcomes 1-month after cardiac arrest, adjusting for out-of-hospital and in-hospital confounders, using data from the Survey of Survivors after Cardiac Arrest, collected in the Kanto Area of Japan in 2012 (SOS-KANTO 2012).
Study design and setting
The SOS-KANTO 2012 is a prospective, multi-center observational study of patients with OHCA who were transported to 67 emergency hospitals in the Kanto area of Japan. The study was conducted between January 2012 and March 2013. The design and data collection methods for the SOS-KANTO 2012 have been reported in detail in previous studies [13–15]. The Kanto region consists of primarily urban areas, including the capital (Tokyo).
Japanese emergency medical service system
The Japanese EMS system has been explained in several previous studies [13, 16]. Briefly, the EMS system is operated by each municipal government and is supervised by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of Japan. All EMS personnel are trained to perform CPR according to the Japanese resuscitation guidelines produced by the Japan Resuscitation Council based on a statement from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. The ambulance crew consists of three EMS personnel, including at least one emergency lifesaving technician (ELST). ELSTs can perform several resuscitative methods under the supervision of an online medical control, including the operation of a semi-automated external defibrillator and insertion of a supraglottic airway device. Specially trained ELSTs have been able to perform endotracheal intubation since 2004, and have been able to administer adrenaline intravenously under the supervision of an online medical control since 2006. EMS personnel in Japan are not legally permitted to terminate resuscitation in the field and all OHCA patients are transported to hospitals, except in cases where death is certain .
All OHCA patients transported by EMS personnel to participating institutions during the study period were eligible for inclusion in the SOS-KANTO 2012 . The present study included adult OHCA patients (18 years of age or older) who underwent CPR by EMS personnel and had a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in either the pre- or in-hospital setting. Of these, cases with the initial resuscitation performed inside the hospital or missing data for onset location were excluded. In addition, cases with an unknown outcome were excluded.
Data collection and definition
The EMS personnel collected pre-hospital information based on the Utstein-style template, including age, sex, witnessed arrest, bystander CPR, time interval, initial rhythm monitored, and pre-hospital management (intravenous adrenaline administration, advanced airway management, and shock delivery) . Physicians collected data regarding in-hospital treatments (drug administration, shock delivery, targeted temperature management, coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention, and use of circulatory assist devices) and outcomes. CPR duration was defined as the period from the initiation of CPR by EMS personnel to a ROSC.
The primary end point was 1-month survival with a neurologically favorable outcome after cardiac arrest, defined as a Glasgow-Pittsburgh cerebral-performance category of 1 (good performance) or 2 (moderate disability) on a five-category scale . The other Glasgow-Pittsburgh categories, including 3 (severe disability), 4 (vegetative state), and 5 (death), were defined as a 1-month neurologically unfavorable outcome. The secondary endpoint was 1-month survival after cardiac arrest.
Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables of interest. Continuous variables are reported using median and interquartile ranges, whereas categorical variables are summarized using counts and percentages. A multivariate logistic regression analysis for 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes and survival was performed, controlling for the following pre-determined potential confounding factors: age, sex, initial cardiac rhythm (ventricular fibrillation, pulseless ventricular tachycardia, pulseless electrical activity, or asystole), witness, bystander CPR (layperson-initiated or EMS-personnel-initiated), time interval from the call to response, pre-hospital ROSC, cardiac etiology of arrest, pre-hospital managements (shock delivery [layperson or EMS personnel], adrenaline administration, and advanced airway management), and in-hospital managements (anti-arrhythmic drug administration, targeted temperature management, coronary angiography, and use of circulatory assist devices [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or intra-aortic balloon pumping]). Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using CPR duration as both an ordinal and continuous variable. As an ordinal variable, CPR duration was classified into 5 categories: 0–10, 11–20, 21–30, 31–40, and ≥41 min. All reported p values are two-tailed, and values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
The dynamic probability of either 1-month favorable neurologic outcome or 1-month survival was described as a function of CPR duration and defined by the proportion of the remaining patients with 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes and 1-month survival relative to all eligible patients, respectively. In addition, the cumulative proportion curves for 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes and 1-month survival after cardiac arrest against the CPR duration were described. CPR guidelines recommend the false positive rate of a diagnostic test for prognostication to be close to 0% [20, 21]. Therefore, the CPR duration achieving a cumulative proportion >99% of those with a 1-month survival and 1-month neurologically favorable outcome was determined as in prior studies [5, 22]. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS for Mac Version 23.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY).
The characteristics and outcomes of the enrolled patients
Baseline characteristics and outcomes of participants according to 1-month neurological outcomes
Total (n = 3353)
1-month neurologically favorable outcome (n = 279)
1-month neurologically unfavorable outcome (n = 3074)
No bystander involvement
Pre-hospital defibrillation (layperson or EMS personnel)
Advanced airway management
Initial shockable rhythm
Initial cardiac rhythm
Pulseless ventricular tachycardia
Pulseless electrical activity
Pre-hospital adrenaline administration
Cardiac etiology of arrest
Antiarrhythmic drug administration
Targeted temperature management
Circulatory assist device
Call to response (min)
CPR to Arrival (min)
CPR duration (min)
Survival to admission
1-month CPC grade
The results of the multiple logistic regression analysis
Multivariate logistic regression analysis of 1-month survival and 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes in terms of CPR duration
1-month neurologically favorable outcome
Crude odds ratio (95% CI)
Adjusted odds ratio (95% CI)
Crude odds ratio (95% CI)
Adjusted odds ratio (95% CI)
CPR duration (continuous variable), per minute
0.873 (0.861–0.886), p < 0.001
0.911 (0.892–0.929), p < 0.001
0.903 (0.894–0.911), p < 0.001
0.925 (0.912–0.938), p < 0.001
CPR duration (ordinal variable)
0 to 10 min
n = 372 (11.1%)
11 to 20 min
n = 530 (15.8%)
0.241 (0.175–0.331), p < 0.001
0.402 (0.261–0.619), p < 0.001
0.259 (0.195–0.344), p < 0.001
0.287 (0.196–0.419), p < 0.001
21 to 30 min
n = 837 (25.0%)
0.044 (0.028–0.068), p < 0.001
0.107 (0.059–0.195), p < 0.001
0.074 (0.054–101), p < 0.001
0.110 (0.070–0.172), p < 0.001
31 to 40 min
n = 1006 (30.0%)
0.023 (0.013–0.039), p < 0.001
0.090 (0.045–0.181), p < 0.001
0.043 (0.030–0.060), p < 0.001
0.090 (0.055–0.146), p < 0.001
n = 608 (18.1%)
0.016 (0.008–0.036), p < 0.001
0.044 (0.017–0.112), p < 0.001
0.030 (0.019–0.047), p < 0.001
0.043 (0.023–0.079), p < 0.001
The dynamic probability of either a 1-month favorable neurologic outcome or 1-month survival
The cumulative proportion of a 1-month neurologically favorable survival in terms of CPR duration
Using data from a prospective multi-center observational study, the present study demonstrated that CPR duration, including pre- and in-hospital CPR, was inversely associated with 1-month survival and neurologically favorable outcomes after OHCA, with adjustment for pre- and in-hospital confounders. In addition, the cumulative proportion of a 1-month neurological favorable outcome fell to 1% at 45 min of CPR.
CPR duration, namely ischemic time, is associated with hypo-hemodynamics and low base excess after a ROSC, which has been suggested to lead to a poor outcome [23–26]. Several studies have investigated the influence of CPR duration on survival or neurological outcomes in OHCA patients [5, 6, 11, 12, 27]. Previous studies have reported that a pre-hospital CPR duration of 26–48 min achieves a 99% cumulative proportion for neurologically favorable outcomes [5, 6, 11, 12]. In addition, the probability of survival rapidly decreases with each minute of CPR . These results are consistent with those of the present study.
However, previous studies defined CPR duration in terms of CPR performed by EMS personnel in an out-of-hospital setting. Few data are available which consider both pre- and in-hospital CPR durations . In population-dense areas, many patients suffering from OHCA are transported to emergency hospitals before the CPR duration has reached 30 min . In the present study, the median duration of CPR to hospital arrival was 22 min, and about half of the patients achieved a ROSC in the hospital. Therefore, estimating the critical CPR duration must include consideration of pre- and in-hospital settings. Moreover, while many previous studies adjusted for pre-hospital confounders, in-hospital factors were left unadjusted [5, 6, 11, 12].
The decision to terminate resuscitation is more challenging than that for other interventions. It has been argued that a success rate of <1% still justifies the resuscitation effort . Therefore, termination of resuscitation could be permissible after the CPR duration has reached the time associated with a cumulative proportion >99% for 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes or 1-month survival. Given the results of the present study, CPR could reasonably be continued for a total of 45 or 52 min, considering both the pre- and in-hospital CPR duration.
Furthermore, CPR duration is a very important factor in the consideration of advanced therapy. In advanced therapies, such as extracorporeal assisted CPR, CPR duration should be considered as a component of the protocol [4, 27, 29, 30]. For example, Reynolds et al. showed that the optimal time for considering an alternative method to conventional CPR is within 15 min . In the present study, the probability of a 1-month neurologically favorable outcome rapidly decreased from 8.3 to 0.7% after 30 min of CPR. Therefore, advanced therapies should be introduced as soon as possible. Moreover, to estimate the effectiveness of these therapies, CPR duration should be taken into account.
There are several limitations in the present study. Firstly, the present study was an observational study; therefore, we could not adjust for unmeasured confounders, and resuscitation efforts might not have been conducted consistently in all OHCA patients. Secondly, we could not divide the CPR duration into out-of-hospital and in-hospital durations. In-hospital CPR duration could be a potential confounder; however, we could not include in-hospital CPR duration in the analysis because of multicollinearity. Thirdly, the SOS-KANTO 2012 was not a population-based study; it was conducted only at certain hospitals in the Kanto area of Japan. For example, the results of the present study are substantially conditioned by the call-to-response time. The observed call-to-response time of 7 min in the present study is the same as that in a nationwide study conducted in Japan , which may limit the generalizability of the results from these studies to other countries. Fourthly, this study excluded pediatric patients; therefore, the relevance of our findings to this population is unclear. Finally, the effect of CPR duration should be reevaluated as innovations for the pre- and in-hospital management of OHCA progress in the future.
CPR duration was independently and inversely associated with 1-month survival and 1-month neurologically favorable outcomes after OHCA. The CPR duration required to achieve a ROSC in >99% of OHCA patients with a 1-month favorable neurological outcome was 45 min, considering both pre- and in-hospital settings.
Longer CPR duration is independently and inversely associated with 1-month survival and neurologically favorable outcomes with adjustment for pre- and in-hospital confounders.
The cumulative proportion of 1-month neurological favorable outcomes fell to 1% at 45 min of CPR.
Emergency lifesaving technician
Emergency medical service
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Return of spontaneous circulation
- SOS-KANTO 2012:
The survey of survivors after cardiac arrest in the kanto area in 2012
We thank all of the bystanders who performed basic resuscitation and the paramedics, emergency medical technicians, nurses, and physicians who participated in the SOS-KANTO 2012. We especially acknowledge Ms. Mai Matsumoto and the secretariat members of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine of Kanto who helped us in collecting data and coordinating our project. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.
SOS-KANTO 2012 steering council
Yokohama City University Medical Center, Kanagawa, Japan (president: Naoto Morimura MD); Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo Japan (Director, Atsushi Sakurai MD); National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Hospital (Director, Yoshio Tahara MD); Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Arino Yaguchi MD); Nihon University Surugadai Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Ken Nagao MD); Nippon Medical School Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Tagami Takashi MD); Japanese Red Cross Maebashi Hospital, Gunma, Japan (Dai Miyazaki MD); National Disaster Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan (Tomoko Ogasawara MD); Keio University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Kei Hayashida MD, Masaru Suzuki MD); Tokai University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan (Mari Amino MD); Kimitsu Chuo Hospital, Chiba, Japan (Nobuya Kitamura MD); Juntendo University Nerima Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Tomohisa Nomura MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Medical Centre, Tokyo, Japan (Naoki Shimizu MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital, Tokyo, Japan (Akiko Akashi MD); National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (Naohiro Yonemoto DPH).
SOS-KANTO 2012 Study Group
Tokai University School of Medicine (Sadaki Inokuchi MD); St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Yokohama Seibu Hospital (Yoshihiro Masui MD); Koto Hospital (Kunihisa Miura MD); Saitama Medical Center Advanced Tertiary Medical Center (Haruhiko Tsutsumi MD); Kawasaki Municipal Hospital Emergency & Critical Care Center (Kiyotsugu Takuma MD); Yokohama Municipal Citizen’s Hospital (Ishihara Atsushi MD); Japanese Red Cross Maebashi Hospital (Minoru Nakano MD); Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital (Hiroshi Tanaka MD); Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital (Keiichi Ikegami MD); Hachioji Medical Center of Tokyo Medical University (Takao Arai MD); Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital (Arino Yaguchi MD); Kimitsu Chuo Hospital (Nobuya Kitamura MD); Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine (Shigeto Oda MD); Saiseikai Utsunomiya Hospital (Kenji Kobayashi MD); Mito Saiseikai General Hospital (Takayuki Suda MD); Dokkyo Medical University (Kazuyuki Ono MD); Yokohama City University Medical Center (Naoto Morimura MD); National Hospital Organization Yokohama Medical Center (Ryosuke Furuya MD); National Disaster Medical Center (Yuichi Koido MD); Yamanashi Prefectural Central Hospital (Fumiaki Iwase MD); Surugadai Nihon University Hospital (Ken Nagao MD); Yokohama Rosai Hospital (Shigeru Kanesaka MD); Showa General Hospital (Yasusei Okada MD); Nippon Medical School Tamanagayama Hospital (Kyoko Unemoto MD); Tokyo Women’s Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center (Tomohito Sadahiro MD); Awa Regional Medical Center (Masayuki Iyanaga MD); Todachuo General Hospital (Asaki Muraoka MD); Japanese Red Cross Medical Center (Munehiro Hayashi MD); St. Luke’s International Hospital (Shinichi Ishimatsu MD); Showa University School of Medicine (Yasufumi Miyake MD); Totsuka Kyoritsu Hospital 1 (Hideo Yokokawa MD); St. Marianna University School of Medicine (Yasuaki Koyama MD); National Hospital Organization Mito Medical Center (Asuka Tsuchiya MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Medical Center (Tetsuya Kashiyama MD); Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital (Munetaka Hayashi MD); Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine (Kiyohiro Oshima MD); Saitama Red Cross Hospital (Kazuya Kiyota MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital (Yuichi Hamabe MD); Nippon Medical School Hospital (Hiroyuki Yokota MD); Keio University Hospital (Shingo Hori MD); Chiba Emergency Medical Center (Shin Inaba MD); Teikyo University School of Medicine (Tetsuya Sakamoto MD); Japanese Red Cross Musashino Hospital (Naoshige Harada MD); National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital (Akio Kimura MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital (Masayuki Kanai MD); Medical Hospital of Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Yasuhiro Otomo MD); Juntendo University Nerima Hospital (Manabu Sugita MD); Nihon University School of Medicine (Kosaku Kinoshita MD); Toho University Ohashi Medical Center (Takatoshi Sakurai MD); Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital (Mitsuhide Kitano MD); Nippon Medical School Musashikosugi Hospital (Kiyoshi Matsuda MD); Tokyo Rosai Hospital (Kotaro Tanaka MD); Toho University Omori Medical Center (Katsunori Yoshihara MD); Hiratsuka city Hospital (Kikuo Yoh MD); Yokosuka Kyosai Hospital (Junichi Suzuki MD); Saiseikai Yokohamashi Nambu Hospital (Hiroshi Toyoda MD); Nippon Medical School Chiba Hokusoh Hospital (Kunihiro Mashiko MD); Tokyo Metropolitan Children’s Medical Centre (Naoki Shimizu MD); National Medical Center for Children and Mothers (Takashi Muguruma MD); Chiba Aoba Municipal Hospital (Tadanaga Shimada MD); Kuki General Hospital (Yoshiro Kobe MD); Matsudo City Hospital (Tomohisa Shoko MD); Japanese Red Cross Narita Hospital (Kazuya Nakanishi MD); Tokyo Bay Urayasu/Ichikawa Medical Center (Takashi Shiga MD); NTT Medical Center Tokyo (Takefumi Yamamoto MD); Tokyo Saiseikai Central Hospital (Kazuhiko Sekine MD); Fuji Heavy Industries Health Insurance Society OTA Memorial Hospital (Shinichi Izuka MD). (http://www.jaam-kanto.jp/sos_kanto.html).
The SOS-KANTO 2012 was supported by the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine of Kanto.
Availability of data and materials
MK contributed to the study conception and design, data acquisition, statistical analysis and interpretation, and drafting of the manuscript. YH and AA contributed to the conception and design of the study, and data interpretation. AS, YT, NY, KN, AY, and NM contributed to the study design and data acquisition. All authors critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content, provided intellectual input to the study and manuscript, and read and approved the final manuscript.
All authors that participated in the current study are members of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine of Kanto. We declare that we have no competing interest associated with the present study.
Consent for publication
Not applicable. No individual patient data will be reported.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
The SOS-KANTO 2012 study was approved by the institutional review boards of all participating institutions listed below in SOS-KANTO 2012 Study Group, with a waiver for informed consent in order to protect participant anonymity.
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