Post-ischemic Myoclonic Status Following Cardiac Arrest in Young Drug Users

Sherri A. Braksick, Alejandro Rabinstein, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, Jennifer E. Fugate, Sara Hocker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Myoclonic status may be observed following cardiac arrest and has previously been identified as a poor prognostic indicator in regard to return of neurologic function. We describe a unique situation in post-cardiac arrest patients with myoclonic status and hypothesize possible predictors of a good neurologic outcome. Methods: Case series. Results: We illustrate two cases of cardiac arrest due to a respiratory cause in young patients with evidence of illicit drug use at the time of hospital admission that suffered post-ischemic myoclonic status. These patients subsequently recovered with good neurologic outcomes. Conclusions: On rare occasions, myoclonic status does not imply a poor functional outcome following cardiac arrest. Other clinical and demographic characteristics including young age, presence of illicit substances, and primary respiratory causes of arrest may contribute to a severe clinical presentation, with a subsequent good neurologic outcome in a small subset of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-283
Number of pages4
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Post-ischemic myoclonus status
  • Prognostication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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