Electromechanical dissociation

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In contrast with arrhythmic causes, electromechanical dissociation causing cardiac arrest has very different mechanisms. The electrical activity of the heart may be near normal, or at least compatible with cardiac output. However, the precipitating cause prevents this electrical activity from producing output.

The causes are summarized in Tab!". Since the primary defect is often unrelated to the myocardium, treatment efforts are directed to the specific correction, for example volume replacement for hypovolemia, decompression of tension pneumothorax, etc.


Table 3 Causes of electromechanical dissociation Chapter References

Binah, O. and Rosen, M.R. (1992). Mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias. Circulation, 85 (Supplement 1), I-25-31.

Muller, J.E. and Mangel, B. (1994). Circadian variation and triggers of cardiovascular disease. Cardiology, 85 (Supplement 2), 3-10.

Myerburg, R.J. and Castellanos, A. (1992). In Heart disease: a textbook of cardiovascular medicine (4th edn) (ed. E. Braunwald), p. 756. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.

Myerburg, R.J., Kessler, K.M., Bassett, A.L., and Castellanos, A. (1989). A biological approach to sudden cardiac death: structure, function and cause. American Journal of Cardiology, 63, 1512-16. Safranek, D.J., Eisenberg, M.S., and Larsen, M.P. (1992). The epidemiology of cardiac arrest in young adults. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 21, 1102-6.

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