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Neurosurgery. 2005 Jul;57(1 Suppl):1-10; discussion 1-10.

Dexmedetomidine for neurological surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.


Dexmedetomidine is a new intravenous drug gaining popularity in neuroanesthesia and neurocritical care practice. This alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist offers a unique "cooperative sedation," anxiolysis, and analgesia with no respiratory depression. Cerebral effects are generally consistent with a desirable neurophysiological profile, including neuroprotective characteristics. In addition, sympatholytic and antinociceptive properties allow for hemodynamic stability at critical moments of neurosurgical stimulation. This review will address the neuropharmacology and neurophysiology of alpha2-adrenergic agonists and will specifically consider the rapidly evolving applicability of dexmedetomidine as an adjuvant to neurosurgical case management.

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