Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death worldwide with survival rates still remaining suboptimal. Unfortunately, most cardiac arrest patients, who achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), develop a multi-faceted post-cardiac arrest syndrome, including post-cardiac arrest brain injury, myocardial dysfunction, and systemic ischemia/reperfusion response.
Erythropoietin (EPO), the principal hematopoietic hormone regulating erythropoiesis, exhibits diverse cellular effects in nonhematopoietic tissues. Due to its anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties, as well as its angiogenic action, EPO plays a role in neuroprotection and cardioprotection. In this regard, EPO represents a promising agent in the cardiac arrest setting, based on a therapeutic strategy that focuses on the post-resuscitation phase.
This review aims to provide a comprehensive account of EPOs role in the treatment of each individual component of post-cardiac arrest syndrome.