Neurologic outcomes in pediatric cardiac arrest survivors enrolled in the THAPCA trials

THAPCA Trial Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To implement a standardized approach to characterize neurologic outcomes among 12-month survivors in the Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (THAPCA) trials.

METHODS: Two multicenter trials enrolled children age 48 hours to 18 years who remained comatose after cardiac arrest (CA) occurring out-of-hospital (THAPCA-OH, NCT00878644) or in-hospital (THAPCA-IH, NCT00880087); patients were randomized to therapeutic hypothermia or therapeutic normothermia. The primary outcome, survival with favorable 12-month neurobehavioral outcome (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales [VABS-II]), did not differ between treatment groups in either trial. Neurologists examined 181 12-month survivors, described findings using the novel semi-quantitative Pediatric Resuscitation after Cardiac Arrest (PRCA) form, and rated findings in 6 domains; scores ranged from 0 (no deficits) to 21 (maximal deficits). PRCA scores were compared with 12-month VABS-II scores and cognitive scores.

RESULTS: Neurologic outcome PRCA scores were classified as no/minimal impairment, PRCA 0-3, 81/179 (45%); mild impairment, PRCA 4-7, 24/179 (13%); moderate impairment, PRCA 8-11, 15/179 (8%); severe impairment, PRCA 12-16, 20/179 (11%); profound impairment, PRCA 17-21, 39/179 (21%) (2/181 incomplete). VABS-II scores correlated strongly with PRCA category (r = -0.88, p <0.0001, Pearson correlation coefficient) and cognitive scores (r = -0.72, p <0.0001). Factors associated with poor outcomes included out-of-hospital CA, seizure recognition in the early postarrest period, and poor neurologic status at hospital discharge.

CONCLUSION: The PRCA provides a robust method for depicting neurologic outcomes after acute encephalopathy caused by CA in children. It provides a global semiquantitative rating of neurologic impairment and domain-specific impairment. The strong correlation with well-established neurobehavioral outcome measures supports its validity over a broad age range and wide spectrum of outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e123-e131
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

1526-632x Ichord, Rebecca Silverstein, Faye S Slomine, Beth S Telford, Russell Christensen, James Holubkov, Richard Dean, J Michael Moler, Frank W THAPCA Trial Group U01 HL094345/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States Journal Article United States Neurology. 2018 Jul 10;91(2):e123-e131. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005773. Epub 2018 Jun 8.


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