Cerebellar Haemorrhage Leading to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0007

Introduction: Intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) is a known, but a rare cause of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). It results in the development of non-shockable rhythms such as asystole or pulseless electrical activity (PEA).
Case Report: A 77- years old male had an OHCA without any prodrome. An emergency medical services (EMS) team responded to an emergency call and intubated the patient at the site before transporting him to the Acute Care Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. On admission, a non-contrast computed tomography scan of the head revealed a large cerebellar haemorrhage. Non-traumatic ICH is a rare cause of OHCA. Although subarachnoid haemorrhage causing cardiac arrest has been described in the literature, cerebellar haemorrhage leading to cardiac arrest is rare. The mechanism by which ICH patients develop cardiac arrest is likely explained by a massive catecholamine surge leading to cardiac stunning.
Conclusion: A non-shockable rhythm in the setting of a sudden cardiac arrest should raise alarms for a primary non-cardiac ethology, especially a primary cerebrovascular event. The absence of brainstem reflexes increases the likelihood of an intracranial process.

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