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Anesth Analg. 1994 Nov;79(5):983-6.

Droperidol causes a dose-dependent prolongation of the QT interval.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Clinics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


To further investigate possible prolongation of the frequency-corrected QT interval (QTc interval) after administration of droperidol (DRO), we studied 40 surgical patients who were randomly assigned to one of three groups, receiving an intravenous (IV) injection of either 0.1 mg/kg (Group 1, n = 10), 0.175 mg/kg (Group 2, n = 10), or 0.25 mg/kg (Group 3, n = 20) of DRO at induction of anesthesia. The QTc interval, heart rate, and arterial pressure were registered before and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.5, and 10 min after the respective dose injection. Significant prolongations of the median QTc interval were found in patients from all groups, ranging from 37 ms (8.0%) in Group 1, to 44 ms (10.6%) in Group 2, to 59 ms (14.9%) in Group 3, when compared with control. The heart rate showed a significant increase in all groups. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was slightly but significantly decreased in Groups 1 and 3. Prolongation of the QTc interval is a predictable and dose-dependent side effect after injection of high-dose DRO.

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