Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Amiodarone, Lidocaine or Neither for Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Due to Ventricular Fibrillation or Ventricular Tachycardia (ALPS)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Clinical Trial

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period
May 2012 – January 2016

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
September 16, 2020


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


To compare the effects of amiodarone, lidocaine, and placebo on survival to hospital discharge after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to shock-refractory ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.


Ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) are common causes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but are considered the most responsive to shock and therefore the most treatable. Nonetheless, most defibrillation attempts do not result in sustained return of spontaneous circulation, and VF or VT may persist or recur after shock. There is also evidence that longer durations of VF or VT are associated with decreases in the likelihood of resuscitation. Amiodarone and lidocaine are commonly used to promote successful defibrillation of shock-refractory VF or VT and prevent recurrences. Previous trials have shown amiodarone to be more effective than placebo or lidocaine for return of spontaneous circulation and survival at hospital admittance. This study sought to further extend the research and examine whether amiodarone would improve survival to hospital discharge and neurologic outcomes, as compared to placebo or lidocaine.


Eligible patients were 18 years of age or older with non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and shock-refractory VF or VT, defined as confirmed persistent or recurrent VF or VT after one or more shocks anytime during resuscitation. This was inclusive of rhythms interpreted as being shockable by an automated external defibrillator. Patients that had already received open-label intravenous lidocaine or amiodarone during resuscitation or had known hypersensitivity to these drugs were excluded.

3,026 eligible patients were enrolled, with 974 assigned to amiodarone, 993 assigned to lidocaine, and 1,059 assigned to placebo. An additional 1,627 patients that received a study intervention, but did not meet eligibility criteria, were included in analysis of the intention-to-treat population.


The study interventions (amiodarone, lidocaine, and saline) were packaged in indistinguishable sealed kits and randomly distributed in to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers in a 1:1:1 ratio, stratified by participating site and agency. Each kit contained three syringes, and each syringe held 3 ml of colorless fluid containing 150 mg of amiodarone, 60 mg of lidocaine, or normal saline. Patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were treated in accordance with local EMS protocols, in compliance with American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. If VF or VT persisted or recurred after one or more shocks, eligible patients received a vasopressor and the masked kit containing amiodarone, lidocaine, or placebo. Approximating current clinical practice, the initial dose consisted of two syringes administered by rapid bolus. If the estimated body weight of the patient was less than 100 lbs., then one syringe was used. If VF or VT persisted, standard resuscitation measures, additional shocks, and an additional syringe of the study drug were administered.

At that point the trial interventions were completed and standard interventions for advanced life support were employed. Upon arrival at the hospital, providers were notified of the patient’s enrollment in the trial and encouraged to provide usual care in accordance with AHA guidelines, including open-label amiodarone or lidocaine if necessary. Components of hospital care were monitored but not standardized by the trial protocol. Patients, providers, and trial personnel were blinded to the trial drug assignments, with the exception of treating physicians if emergency un-blinding was required for care.

Data from pre-hospital patient care records, CPR process measures, and hospital medical records were collected. The primary outcome of the trial was survival to hospital discharge, and the secondary outcome was survival with favorable neurologic status at discharge, defined as a score on the modified Rankin scale of 3 or less.


Neither amiodarone nor lidocaine resulted in a significantly higher rate of survival to hospital discharge or favorable neurologic outcome, as compared to placebo, among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to initial shock-refractory ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

Kudenchuk PJ, et al. Amiodarone. lidocaine, or placebo in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. N. Engl. J. Med. 2016;374:1711–1722. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514204.

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