Perioperative use of dexmedetomidine is associated with decreased incidence of ventricular and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias after congenital cardiac operations.
BACKGROUND: Postoperative tachyarrhythmias remain a common complication after congenital cardiac operations. Dexmedetomidine (DEX), an α-2 adrenoreceptor agonist, can have a therapeutic role in supraventricular tachyarrhythmias for cardioversion to sinus rhythm or heart rate control. Whether routine perioperative use of DEX decreases the incidence of supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias was studied. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, 32 pediatric patients undergoing cardiothoracic operations received DEX and were compared with 20 control patients who did not receive DEX. RESULTS: Dexmedetomidine was started after anesthesia induction and continued intraoperatively and postoperatively for 38±4 hours (mean dose, 0.76±0.04 μg/kg/h). Ten control patients and 2 DEX patients sustained 16 episodes of tachyarrhythmias (p=0.001), including a 25% vs 0% (p=0.01) incidence of ventricular tachycardia and 25% vs 6% (p=0.05) of supraventricular arrhythmias in the control and DEX group, respectively. Transient complete heart block occurred in 2 control patients and in 1 DEX patient. Control patients had a higher heart rate (141±5 vs 127±3 beats/min, p=0.03), more sinus tachycardia episodes (40% vs 6%; p=0.008), required more antihypertensive drugs with nitroprusside (20±7 vs 4±1 μg/kg; p=0.004) and nicardipine (13±5 vs 2±1 μg/kg; p=0.02), and required more fentanyl (39±8 vs 19±3 μg/kg; p=0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative use of dexmedetomidine is associated with a significantly decreased incidence of ventricular and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias, without significant adverse effects.
Chrysostomou, C; Sanchez-de-Toledo, J; Wearden, P; Jooste, EH; Lichtenstein, SE; Callahan, PM; Suresh, T; O'Malley, E; Shiderly, D; Haney, J; Yoshida, M; Orr, R; Munoz, R; Morell, VO
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)