1. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
2. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Dexmedetomidine is used for sedation during spinal anesthesia. The sympatholytic effect of dexmedetomidine may exacerbate hypotension and bradycardia with spinal anesthesia. This study investigated the effects of prophylactic intramuscular injection of ephedrine in preventing hypotension and bradycardia occurring through combined use of spinal anesthesia and dexmedetomidine. One hundred sixteen patients scheduled for lower extremity orthopedic surgery were randomized into two groups receiving either ephedrine 20 mg intramuscularly or equivalent amount of 0.9% NaCl, both with dexmedetomidine and spinal anesthesia. The primary endpoint was the incidence of hemodynamic perturbations (hypotension or bradycardia event). The secondary endpoint was a rescue doses of ephedrine and atropine. The incidence of hemodynamic perturbations was significantly lower in the ephedrine group compared with to the saline group (26.3% versus 55.9%, p = 0.001). The rescue doses of atropine (0.09 ± 0.21 versus 0.28 ± 0.41, p = 0.001) and ephedrine (1.04 ± 2.89 versus 2.03 ± 3.25, p = 0.007) were also significantly lower in the ephedrine group. There was no differences in number of patients with hypertensive (7.0% versus 11.9%, p = 0.375) or tachycardia (1.8% versus 3.4% p = 0.581) episodes. The use of ephedrine intramuscular injections may be a safe and efficacious option in preventing hemodynamic perturbations in patients who received spinal anesthesia and sedation using dexmedetomidine.
Keywords: Bradycardia, Dexmedetomidine, Ephedrine, Hypotension