Epigenetic effects of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: abundance of microRNA in plasma

Status:  Currently enrolling


The success of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is very low, in veterinary (as well as human) patients. Even after successful return to spontaneous circulation, sequela to CPR include repeated cardiac arrest, brain disease, and multi-organ system failure. Low oxygen levels to the brain is the major factor contributing to these poor outcomes. There is a critical gap in our understanding of the physiology and prognosis after CPR, which has led to failure to substantially improve our success in dealing with this problem.

An important goal of this study is to understand how chemicals called nucleic acids (RNA) are altered in post-CPR canine patients. The study will focus on very small RNA (miRNA). The specific objective of this study is to understand which miRNA are released into the circulation of canine patients after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) versus non-CPR patients hospitalized in the ICU for other reasons.

There is tremendous potential value in identifying circulating miRNA after CPR. First, miRNA may assist in predicting outcome (prognosticating) in individual patients in the future. Second, miRNAreleased into the circulation are indicators of major epigenetic disturbances as a consequence of hypoxia-ischemia.    Knowledge of these miRNA may lead to the design of novel therapies to counteract these effects, for example employing stem cells that release mitigating miRNA.

Inclusion Criteria:

Group 1:  Six dogs that have undergone CPR according to standard protocols in the TCSVM emergency room and have returned to spontaneous circulation for a minimum of 1 hr.

Group 2:  Six dogs hospitalized in the ICU that have not experienced CPR or significant hypoxemia or ischemia (e.g. GDV, hemorrhage, stroke) will be selected for sampling at the same time (AM vs. PM). Dogs will be similar age and gender as post-CPR patient.

Any breed is acceptable.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs < 10 kg
  • Dogs with prior hypoxemia insult (prior arrest or CPR, GDV, stroke, hemorrhagic shock, congestive heart failure, etc).
  • Dogs with a diagnosis of cancer
  • Dogs with hemolytic disease
  • Dogs for which blood sampling is contraindicated (recent fluid/colloid resuscitation)


Client Benefits:

The study will cover the cost of a blood panel (NOVA) at the same time the sample is being collected; this is testing that is normally performed every few hours during recovery from CPR, it is also testing that is normally performed in sick dogs. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment

Contact Information:

For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu