Memory performance, global cerebral volumes and hippocampal subfield volumes in long-term survivors of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest



      We explored the associations between global brain volumes, hippocampal subfield volumes and verbal memory performance in long-term survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).


      Three months after OHCA, survivors and healthy, age-matched controls were assessed with cerebral MRI and the California Verbal Learning Test-II (CVLT-II). Volumetric brain segmentation was performed automatically by FreeSurfer.


      Twenty-six OHCA survivors who were living independently in regular homes at the time of assessment and 19 controls participated in the study. Thirteen of the survivors had been conscious upon arrival to the emergency department. The other 13 survivors had 0.5–7 days of inpatient coma before recovery. Memory was poorer in the OHCA group that had been comatose beyond initial hospital admission compared to both other groups. Total cortical volumes, total hippocampus volumes and several hippocampal subfield volumes were significantly smaller in the OHCA group comatose beyond initial hospital admission compared to controls. No significant differences between the OHCA group conscious upon emergency department arrival and the other two groups were found for brain volumes. No significant differences were observed between any groups for white matter or total subcortical volumes. In OHCA survivors with recovery from inpatient coma, the various CVLT-II trials were significantly, but differentially, correlated to total gray matter volume, cortical volume and the hippocampal subfield subiculum.


      In this small, single-site study, both hippocampal volume and cortical volume were smaller in good outcome OHCA survivors 3 months after resuscitation in comparison to healthy controls. Smaller cerebral volumes were correlated with poorer memory performance


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