UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Cardiovascular Diseases | Emergency Medicine


Objectives: Pre-pause imaging during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) involves the acquisition of poor-quality, brief images immediately prior to stopping CPR to allow shorter, better-quality images during the pause. We hypothesize that pre-pause imaging is associated with a decrease in CPR pause length and shorter image acquisition time.

Methods: Prospective, interventional cohort study enrolling out-of-hospital (OOH) cardiac arrest patients. Pre-pause imaging involves pre-localizing of the approximate sonographic window during CPR to support subsequent fine tuning when CPR pauses. Physicians were educated on pre-pause imaging and data was recorded prior- and post- introduction of pre-pause imaging into American cardiac life support (ACLS). Timing of CPR pauses and identification of interventions and events during pause were recorded (e.g., intubation, defibrillation, multiple cardiac ultrasounds). Ultrasound (US) images were reviewed for image quality using a 5-point scale. Primary outcome was length of CPR pause with and without pre-pause imaging. Secondary outcome included US length.

Results: One hundred and forty five subjects presenting after OOH cardiac arrest were enrolled over 13 months, 70 during the baseline period prior to pre-pause imaging and 75 after pre-pause imaging was integrated into ACLS. Pre-pause imaging decreased CPR pause length from 28.3 s (95%CI 25.1-31.5) to 12.8 s (95%CI 11.9-13.7). US image acquisition time decreased with pre-pause imaging from 20.4 (95%CI 18.0-22.7) to 11.0 s (95%CI 10.1-11.8). US image quality was unchanged despite the decrease in image acquisition time. (3.0 (95%CI 2.8-3.2) vs 2.7 (95%CI 2.5-2.9)). Multivariate modeling showed that ultrasound did not prolong CPR pause length.

Conclusion: Pre-pause imaging was associated with significant decrease in CPR pause length and US image acquisition time. Pre-pause imaging should be encouraged for any clinicians who use ultrasound during ACLS.


Cardiac arrest, Echocardiography, Research methodology, Ultrasound image quality

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© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

DOI of Published Version



Gaspari R, Harvey J, DiCroce C, Nalbandian A, Hill M, Lindsay R, Nordberg A, Graham P, Kamilaris A, Gleeson T. Echocardiographic pre-pause imaging and identifying the acoustic window during CPR reduces CPR pause time during ACLS - A prospective Cohort Study. Resusc Plus. 2021 Mar 6;6:100094. doi: 10.1016/j.resplu.2021.100094. PMID: 34223359; PMCID: PMC8244425. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Resuscitation plus

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.