Oxidative stress plays a key role in the pathophysiology of post-cardiac arrest syndrome. Molecular hydrogen reduces oxidative stress and exerts anti-inflammatory effects in an animal model of cardiac arrest. However, its effect on human post-cardiac arrest syndrome is unclear. We consecutively enrolled five comatose post-cardiac arrest patients (three males; mean age, 65 ± 15 years; four cardiogenic, one septic cardiac arrest) and evaluated temporal changes in oxidative stress markers and cytokines with inhaled hydrogen. All patients were treated with target temperature management. Hydrogen gas inhalation (2% hydrogen with titrated oxygen) was initiated upon admission for 18 h. Blood hydrogen concentrations, plasma and urine oxidative stress markers (derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolites, biological antioxidant potential, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, Nε-hexanoyl-lysine, lipid hydroperoxide), and cytokines (interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) were measured before and 3, 9, 18, and 24 h after hydrogen gas inhalation. Arterial hydrogen concentration was measurable and it was equilibrated with inhaled hydrogen. Oxidative stress was reduced and cytokine levels were unchanged in cardiogenic patients, whereas oxidative stress was unchanged and cytokine levels were diminished in the septic patient. The effect of inhaled hydrogen on oxidative stress and cytokines in comatose post-cardiac arrest patients remains indefinite because of methodological weaknesses.
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