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Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 May;69(5):1420-4.

Effects of single dose, postinduction dexamethasone on recovery after cardiac surgery.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA. yaredj@cesmtp.ccf.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Corticosteroids have been recommended to facilitate rapid recovery after cardiac surgery. We previously reported that dexamethasone given after induction of anesthesia decreases the incidence of postoperative shivering. We performed a post hoc analysis of the data obtained during that study, focusing on secondary outcomes.

METHODS:

A total of 235 adult patients undergoing elective coronary or valvular heart surgery were randomized to receive dexamethasone 0.6 mg/kg or placebo after induction of anesthesia. Patients who had pharmacologically treated diabetes mellitus, had hypersensitivity to dexamethasone, or were receiving treatment with corticosteroids were excluded.

RESULTS:

We found that, compared with placebo, patients receiving dexamethasone were more likely to remain tracheally intubated for 6 hours or less (26.4% vs 10.0%, p = 0.020) and had a lower incidence of early postoperative fever (20.2% vs 36.8%, p = 0.009) and new-onset atrial fibrillation during the first 3 days postoperatively (18.9% vs 32.3%, p = 0.027). However, we could not demonstrate a statistical difference in the intensive care unit or hospital length of stay, or in overall morbidity and mortality. The dexamethasone-treated patients were also more likely to have a higher blood glucose on admission to the intensive care unit (186 mg/dL vs 143 mg/dL, p = 0.012).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dexamethasone facilitates early tracheal extubation and is associated with a lower incidence of early postoperative fever and new-onset atrial fibrillation. Apart from a treatable decreased glucose tolerance, dexamethasone treatment was not shown to affect morbidity or mortality significantly.

PMID:
10881816
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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