Original Article

The Effectiveness of Ultrasound in Patients with Non-Traumatic Cardiopulmonary Arrest


  • Suat Zengin
  • Cuma Yıldırım
  • Behçet Al
  • Sinan Genç
  • Hasan Kılıç
  • Mehmet Doğan

Received Date: 20.01.2012 Accepted Date: 05.03.2012 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2012;11(2):68-72


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using cardiac ultrasound in emergency departments to direct resuscitation after cardiopulmonary arrest.

Material and Methods:

The study was performed prospectively on 73 patients who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the emergency department at Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine between January and December 2010. Two senior doctors, who had received emergency cardiac ultrasonography training, performed the cardiac ultrasound, which was done from the apical and subxiphoid windows. SonoSite Titan was used as the sonography device. Ultrasound evaluation and pulse controls were performed spontaneously. SPSS 18.0 was used for statistical analysis.


The cases included 38 males and 35 females. 57.5% of the cardiopulmonary arrest incidents occurred out of the hospital. Only 8.2% of patients had a femoral pulse during the initial evaluation; 91.8% showed no femoral pulse. Although 31.5% of patients had a regular rhythm, 54.8% did not, and ventricular fibrillation was present in 13.7% of patients. Ultrasound inspection detected a heart rate in 13.7% of patients and ventricular fibrillation in 9.6%. In 76.7% of the cases, no heart rate was observed. There were 42 patients with asystole, two with a normal rate and 14 with valvular motion. Ventricular fibrillation was detected in seven cases, and following the evaluation performed simultaneously with ultrasound, pericardial tamponade was found in two and right ventricular enlargement in four cases. Global hypokinesia was detected in one patient and hypovolemia in one patient.


Doctors trained in emergency cardiac ultrasonography can use cardiac ultrasound as a supplementary method for managing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and making appropriate decisions.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, cardiac ultrasound, pulseless electrical activity