Bartos JA, Yannopoulos D.; Curr Opin Crit Care. 2013 Oct;19(5):417-23.

Purpose of review: The ultimate goal of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is long-term neurologically intact survival. Despite numerous well-designed studies, the medications currently used in advanced cardiac life support have not demonstrated success in this regard. This review describes the novel therapeutics under investigation to improve functional recovery and survival.

Recent findings: Whereas current medications focus on achieving return of spontaneous circulation and improved hemodynamics, novel therapies currently in development are focused on improving cellular survival and function by preventing metabolic derangement, protecting mitochondria, and preventing cell death caused by cardiac arrest. Improved cardiac and neurologic function and survival benefits have been observed using animal models of cardiopulmonary arrest.

Summary: Although substantial data have shown benefits using robust animal models, further human studies are necessary to investigate the potential long-term benefits of  these therapies.

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