Variability in functional outcome and treatment practices by treatment center after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: analysis of International Cardiac Arrest Registry

Teresa L. May, Christine W. Lary, Richard R. Riker, Hans Friberg, Nainesh Patel, Eldar Søreide, John A. McPherson, Johan Undén, Robert Hand, Kjetil Sunde, Pascal Stammet, Stein Rubertsson, Jan Belohlvaek, Allison Dupont, Karen G. Hirsch, Felix Valsson, Karl Kern, Farid Sadaka, Johan Israelsson, Josef DankiewiczNiklas Nielsen, David B. Seder, Sachin Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: Functional outcomes vary between centers after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and are partially explained by pre-existing health status and arrest characteristics, while the effects of in-hospital treatments on functional outcome are less understood. We examined variation in functional outcomes by center after adjusting for patient- and arrest-specific characteristics and evaluated how in-hospital management differs between high- and low-performing centers. Methods: Analysis of observational registry data within the International Cardiac Arrest Registry was used to perform a hierarchical model of center-specific risk standardized rates for good outcome, adjusted for demographics, pre-existing functional status, and arrest-related factors with treatment center as a random effect variable. We described the variability in treatments and diagnostic tests that may influence outcome at centers with adjusted rates significantly above and below registry average. Results: A total of 3855 patients were admitted to an ICU following cardiac arrest with return of spontaneous circulation. The overall prevalence of good outcome was 11–63% among centers. After adjustment, center-specific risk standardized rates for good functional outcome ranged from 0.47 (0.37–0.58) to 0.20 (0.12–0.26). High-performing centers had faster time to goal temperature, were more likely to have goal temperature of 33 °C, more likely to perform unconscious cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention, and had differing prognostication practices than low-performing centers. Conclusions: Center-specific differences in outcomes after OHCA after adjusting for patient-specific factors exist. This variation could partially be explained by in-hospital management differences. Future research should address the contribution of these factors to the differences in outcomes after resuscitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-646
Number of pages10
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Center variability
  • Out of hospital arrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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