The Montreal Cognitive Assessment is a valid cognitive screening tool for cardiac arrest survivors

Pauline van Gils, Caroline van Heugten*, Jeannette Hofmeijer, Hanneke Keijzer, Sjoukje Nutma, Annelien Duits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: The survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients has increased over the past decades. This gives rise to a growing number of patients with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and cognitive impairment. Currently, cognitive impairment is underdiagnosed in OHCA patients. There is a need for a validated cognitive screening instrument to identify patients with cognitive impairment. This study aimed to examine the diagnostic value of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in patients after OHCA. Methods: Survivors (age ≥ 18 years) of OHCA completed the MoCA and a gold standard neuropsychological test battery, including tests for memory, attention, perception, language, reasoning, and executive functioning, at around one year after OHCA. Results of the MoCA are related to the results of the neuropsychological test battery. Analyses of diagnostic accuracy included receiver operating characteristics and calculation of predictive values. Results: We included 54 OHCA survivors (mean age = 57.3, 74% male). The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.8, 95% CI [0.67, 0.93]. The MoCA showed excellent sensitivity of 86%, 95% CI [57, 98] and adequate specificity of 70.0%, 95% CI [53, 83] to detect cognitive impairment at the regular cut-off score of 26. The positive predictive value of the MoCA was 50%, 95% CI [30, 70] and the negative predictive value was 93%, 95% CI [76, 99]. Conclusion: This study shows that the MoCA may be a valid cognitive screening instrument for use in the OHCA patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
Early online date25 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cognitive screening tool
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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