Dexmedetomidine as the primary anesthetic agent during cardiac surgery in an infant with a family history of malignant hyperthermia

Department of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Saudi journal of anaesthesia 10/2011; 5(4):426-9. DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.87276
Source: PubMed


Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is an acute hypermetabolic crisis triggered in susceptible patients by the administration of succinylcholine or a volatile anesthetic agent. When providing anesthetic care for MH-susceptible agents, a total intravenous anesthetic (TIVA) technique is frequently chosen. When choosing the components for TIVA, several options exist including the combination of propofol or dexmedetomidine with an opioid. We present our experience with the use of dexmedetomidine as a key component of the anesthetic regimen in a 5-month-old infant with a family history of MH. Previous reports of the use of dexmedetomidine in MH-susceptible patients are reviewed and its benefits in such patients discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to provide a general description of the cardiovascular and hemodynamic effects of dexmedetomidine and an evidence-based review of the literature regarding its use in infants and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). A computerized bibliographic search of the literature on dexmedetomidine use in infants and children with CHD was performed. The cardiovascular effects of dexmedetomidine have been well studied in animal and adult human models. Adverse cardiovascular effects include occasional episodes of bradycardia, with rare reports of sinus pause or cardiac arrest. Both hypotension and hypertension also have been reported. The latter is related to peripheral α(2B) agonism leading to vasoconstriction. No adverse effects on the pulmonary vasculature have been noted even in patients with preexisting pulmonary hypertension. Although there are no direct effects on myocardial function, decreased cardiac output may result from changes in heart rate or increases in afterload. Although not currently Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for the pediatric population, findings have shown dexmedetomidine to be effective in various clinical scenarios of patients with CHD including sedation during mechanical ventilation, prevention of procedure-related anxiety, prevention of emergence delirium and shivering after anesthesia, and treatment of withdrawal. Although dexmedetomidine may have limited utility for painful or invasive procedures, preliminary data suggest that the addition of ketamine to the regimen may offer benefits. When used during the perioperative period, additional benefits include blunting of the sympathetic stress response with a reduction of endogenous catecholamine release, a decrease in intraoperative anesthetic requirements, and a limitation of postoperative opioid requirements.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Pediatric Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: Our goal was to evaluate the role of three anesthetic techniques in altering the stress response in children undergoing surgery for repair of congenital heart diseases utilizing cardiopulmonary bypass in the setting of fast tracking or early tracheal extubation. Furthermore, we wanted to evaluate the correlation between blunting the stress response and the perioperative clinical outcomes. DESIGN:: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded study. SETTING:: Single center from December 2008 to May of 2011. PATIENTS:: Forty-eight subjects (low-dose fentanyl plus placebo, n = 16; high-dose fentanyl plus placebo, n = 17; low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine, n = 15) were studied between ages 30 days to 3 years old who were scheduled to undergo repair for a ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular septal defect, or Tetralogy of Fallot. METHODS:: Children undergoing surgical repair of congenital heart disease were randomized to receive low-dose fentanyl (10 mcg/kg; low-dose fentanyl), high-dose fentanyl (25mcg/kg; high-dose fentanyl), or low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine (as a 1 mcg/kg loading dose followed by infusion at 0.5mcg/kg/hr until separation from cardiopulmonary bypass. In addition, patients received a volatile anesthetic agent as needed to maintain hemodynamic stability. Blood samples were tested for metabolic, hormonal and cytokine markers at baseline, after sternotomy, after the start of cardiopulmonary bypass, at the end of the procedure and at 24 hours postoperatively. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: Forty-eight subjects (low-dose fentanyl plus placebo, n = 16; high-dose fentanyl plus placebo, n = 17; low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine, n = 15) were studied. Subjects in the low-dose fentanyl plus placebo group had significantly higher levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, glucose, lactate, and epinephrine during the study period. The lowest levels of stress markers were seen in the high-dose fentanyl plus placebo group both over time (adrenocorticotropic hormone, p = 0.01; glucose, p = 0.007) and at individual time points (cortisol and lactate at the end of surgery, epinephrine poststernotomy; p < 0.05). Subjects in the low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine group had lower lactate levels at the end of surgery compared with the low-dose fentanyl plus placebo group (p < 0.05). Although there were no statistically significant differences in plasma cytokine levels between the three groups, the low-dose fentanyl plus placebo group had significantly higher interleukin-6:interleukin-10 ratio at 24 hours postoperatively (p < 0.0001). In addition, when compared with the low-dose fentanyl plus placebo group, the low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine group showed lower norepinephrine level from baseline at poststernotomy, after start of cardiopulmonary bypass, and end of surgery (p ≤ 0.05). Subjects in the low-dose fentanyl plus placebo group had more postoperative narcotic requirement (p = 0.004), higher prothrombin time (p ≤ 0.03), and more postoperative chest tube output (p < 0.05). Success of fast tracking was not significantly different between groups (low-dose fentanyl plus placebo 75%, high-dose fentanyl plus placebo 82%, low-dose fentanyl plus dexmedetomidine 93%; p = 0.39). CONCLUSIONS:: The use of low-dose fentanyl was associated with the greatest stress response, most coagulopathy, and highest transfusion requirement among our cohorts. Higher dose fentanyl demonstrated more favorable blunting of the stress response. When compared with low-dose fentanyl alone, the addition of dexmedetomidine improved the blunting of the stress response, while achieving better postoperative pain control.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Pediatric Critical Care Medicine