The Timing of Administration of Intravenous Dexmedetomidine During Lower Limb Surgery

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Eunsu Kang; Ki Hwa Lee; Sang Yoon Jeon; Kyu Won Lee; Myoung Jin Ko; Hyojoong Kim; Yong Han Kim; Jae-Wook Jung


BMC Anesthesiol. 2016;16(116) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha-2 agonist, has sedative, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects without respiratory depression. Dexmedetomidine can cause a biphasic cardiovascular response, and induce transient hypertension. Hypotension is a common complication of spinal anesthesia. Decreasing anxiety of patients before procedure is important for high quality of procedure. This study aimed to compare the incidence of hypotension and patients' anxiety and comfort levels when dexmedetomidine was intravenously administered before and after spinal anesthesia.

Methods: Seventy-four patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification I or II were randomly allocated into two groups. Spinal anesthesia was performed using 12 mg of 0.5% heavy bupivacaine. In Group A, 1 μg/kg of dexmedetomidine was intravenously administered for 10 min, followed by the maintenance infusion of dexmedetomidine 0.2 μg/kg/hr after 5 min of intrathecal bupivacaine injection. Patients in Group B received same dose of dexmedetomidine by intravenous administration before 5 min of intrathecal bupivacaine injection. Perioperative vital signs, anxiety (using the Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) and comfort (using the numerical rating scale) were evaluated.

Results: The incidence of hypotension was significantly lower in Group A (16.1%) than in Group B (48.4%) during infusion of dexmedetomidine (p = 0.01). The need for treatment of hypotension is higher in Group B than Group A (p = 0.02). The incidence of bradycardia and desaturation did not significantly differ between the two groups. There were no statistically significant differences regarding the patients' anxiety and comfort.

Conclusions: Hypotension is more frequently occurred, and the treatment of hypotension is more needed in Group B. The intravenously administration of dexmedetomidine before spinal anesthesia has no advantages in hemodynamic status and patients' comfort compared to that after spinal anesthesia during lower limb surgery.