Perioperative use of dexmedetomidine is associated with decreased incidence of ventricular and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias after congenital cardiac operations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • 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

Published Date

  • September 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 92 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 964 - 972

PubMed ID

  • 21871284

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3289583

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6259

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.04.099


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands