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      Dexmedetomidine attenuates sympathoadrenal response to tracheal intubation and reduces perioperative anaesthetic requirement

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          Dexmedetomidine, an α-2 adrenoreceptor agonist, is gaining popularity for its sympatholytic, sedative, anaesthetic sparing and haemodynamic stabilising properties without significant respiratory depression.


          We assessed the efficacy of dexmedetomidine in attenuating sympathoadrenal response to tracheal intubation and analysed reduction in intraoperative anaesthetic requirement. Sixty patients scheduled for elective surgery of more than 3 hours were randomly selected. Control group received isoflurane–opioid and study group received isoflurane–opioid-dexmedetomidine anaesthesia. Dexmedetomidine infusion in a dose of 1 μg/kg was given over 10 min before the induction of anaesthesia and was continued in a dose of 0.2–0.7 μg/kg/Hr until skin closure. All patients were induced with thiopentone, fentanyl and vecuronium. Haemodynamic variables were continuously recorded.


          The need for thiopentone and isoflurane was decreased by 30% and 32%, respectively, in the dexmedetomidine group as compared to the control group. After tracheal intubation, maximal average increase was 8% in systolic and 11% in diastolic blood pressure in dexmedetomidine group, as compared to 40% and 25%, respectively, in the control group. Similarly, average increase in heart rate was 7% and 21% in the dexmedetomidine and control groups, respectively. Fentanyl requirement during the operation was 100±10 μg in the control group and 60±10 μg in the dexmedetomidine group.


          Perioperative infusion of dexmedetomidine is effective in attenuating sympathoadrenal response to tracheal intubation. It has significant anaesthetic and opioid sparing effect.

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          Most cited references 33

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          The effects of increasing plasma concentrations of dexmedetomidine in humans.

          This study determined the responses to increasing plasma concentrations of dexmedetomidine in humans. Ten healthy men (20-27 yr) provided informed consent and were monitored (underwent electrocardiography, measured arterial, central venous [CVP] and pulmonary artery [PAP] pressures, cardiac output, oxygen saturation, end-tidal carbon dioxide [ETCO2], respiration, blood gas, and catecholamines). Hemodynamic measurements, blood sampling, and psychometric, cold pressor, and baroreflex tests were performed at rest and during sequential 40-min intravenous target infusions of dexmedetomidine (0.5, 0.8, 1.2, 2.0, 3.2, 5.0, and 8.0 ng/ml; baroreflex testing only at 0.5 and 0.8 ng/ml). The initial dose of dexmedetomidine decreased catecholamines 45-76% and eliminated the norepinephrine increase that was seen during the cold pressor test. Catecholamine suppression persisted in subsequent infusions. The first two doses of dexmedetomidine increased sedation 38 and 65%, and lowered mean arterial pressure by 13%, but did not change central venous pressure or pulmonary artery pressure. Subsequent higher doses increased sedation, all pressures, and calculated vascular resistance, and resulted in significant decreases in heart rate, cardiac output, and stroke volume. Recall and recognition decreased at a dose of more than 0.7 ng/ml. The pain rating and mean arterial pressure increase to cold pressor test progressively diminished as the dexmedetomidine dose increased. The baroreflex heart rate slowing as a result of phenylephrine challenge was potentiated at both doses of dexmedetomidine. Respiratory variables were minimally changed during infusions, whereas acid-base was unchanged. Increasing concentrations of dexmedetomidine in humans resulted in progressive increases in sedation and analgesia, decreases in heart rate, cardiac output, and memory. A biphasic (low, then high) dose-response relation for mean arterial pressure, pulmonary arterial pressure, and vascular resistances, and an attenuation of the cold pressor response also were observed.
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            Sedative, amnestic, and analgesic properties of small-dose dexmedetomidine infusions.

            This research determined the safety and efficacy of two small-dose infusions of dexmedetomidine by evaluating sedation, analgesia, cognition, and cardiorespiratory function. Seven healthy young volunteers provided informed consent and participated on three occasions with random assignment to drug or placebo. Heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, ETCO(2), O(2) saturation, and processed electroencephalogram (bispectral analysis) were monitored. Baseline hemodynamic measurements were acquired, and psychometric tests were performed (visual analog scale for sedation; observer's assessment of alertness/sedation scale; digit symbol substitution test; and memory). The pain from a 1-min cold pressor test was quantified with a visual analog scale. After a 10-min initial dose of saline or 6 microg. kg(-1). h(-1) dexmedetomidine, volunteers received 50-min IV infusions of saline, or 0.2 or 0.6 microg. kg(-1). h(-1) dexmedetomidine. Measurements were repeated at the end of infusion and during recovery. The two dexmedetomidine infusions resulted in similar and significant sedation (30%-60%), impairment of memory (approximately 50%), and psychomotor performance (28%-41%). Hemodynamics, oxygen saturation, ETCO(2), and respiratory rate were well preserved throughout the infusion and recovery periods. Pain to the cold pressor test was reduced by 30% during dexmedetomidine infusion. Small-dose dexmedetomidine provided sedation, analgesia, and memory and cognitive impairment. These properties might prove useful in a postoperative or intensive care unit setting. IMPLICATIPNS: The alpha(2) agonist, dexmedetomidine, has sedation and analgesic properties. This study quantified these effects, as well as cardiorespiratory, memory and psychomotor effects, in healthy volunteers. Dexmedetomidine infusions resulted in reversible sedation, mild analgesia, and memory impairment without cardiorespiratory compromise.
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              Effects of intravenous dexmedetomidine in humans. II. Hemodynamic changes.

              Dexmedetomidine (DMED) is a novel clonidine-like compound known to have sedative, analgesic, and cardiovascular stabilizing qualities. DMED is a more highly selective alpha 2-adrenergic agonist than clonidine. This investigation examined the hemodynamic effects of four selected iv doses in consenting healthy male volunteers. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial subjects received 0 (n = 9), 0.25 (n = 6) 0.5 (n = 6), 1.0 (n = 6), or 2.0 (n = 10) micrograms/kg of DMED by infusion (2 min). ECG, heart rate (HR), arterial blood pressure (MABP), bioimpedance cardiac output (CO), and plasma catecholamines concentrations (CA) were monitored from 90 min before to 360 min after infusion. Plasma DMED concentrations were measured. DMED produced a maximum decrease in MABP at 60 min of 14%, 16%, 23%, and 27% for the 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 micrograms/kg groups, respectively (P < .05). At 330 min MABP remained below baseline by 8% and 17% at the two largest doses (P < .05). Both HR and CO decreased maximally by both 17% at 105 min. The two largest doses produced a transient (peak at 3 min lasting < 11 min) increased in MABP (16 +/- 2.5 and 24 +/- 10 mmHg, respectively; P < .05) with a concomitantly reduced CO (41%, 2 micrograms/kg; P < .05) and HR (22%, 2 micrograms/kg; P < .05), whereas systemic vascular resistance doubled. Even the lowest dose decreased CA immediately to values close to 20 pg/ml for 5 h. A 2-min iv infusion of DMED produced a transient increase in MABP and a longer lasting decrease in MABP and CA. These DMED doses were well tolerated in the healthy volunteers.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Anaesth
                Indian Journal of Anaesthesia
                Medknow Publications (India )
                Jul-Aug 2011
                : 55
                : 4
                : 352-357
                Department of Anesthesia, Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Varshali M Keniya, 401, Disha Apartments, Mayur Colony, Kothrud, Pune - 411 038, Maharashtra, India. E-mail: varshkeniya@ 123456yahoo.com
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Anaesthesia

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Clinical Investigation


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