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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2005 Jul;6(4):435-9; quiz 440.

Prospective evaluation of dexmedetomidine for noninvasive procedural sedation in children.

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AssPediatrics/Pediatric Critical Care, University of Louisville, Kosair Children's Hospital, Louisville, KY, USA.



Children often require sedation for lengthy noninvasive procedures. Conventional agents such as chloral hydrate, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates have been associated with sedation failure, respiratory depression, and paradoxic agitation. Dexmedetomidine is a newer alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor agonist with sedative properties and minimal respiratory depression. We hypothesized that it would be an effective agent for these procedures.


Prospective case series.


Tertiary care children's hospital.


Children undergoing noninvasive procedures.


Children were sedated with dexmedetomidine given as a bolus of 0.5-1.0 microg/kg over 5-10 mins followed by an infusion of 0.5-1.0 microg/kg/hr. Vital signs, sedative effectiveness, recovery patterns, and complications were prospectively recorded.


Forty-eight patients, aged 6.9 +/- 3.7 yrs, were sedated. Fifteen received dexmedetomidine after failing sedation with chloral hydrate and/or midazolam. Sedation was induced with 0.92 +/- 0.36 microg/kg over 10.3 +/- 4.7 mins and maintained with an infusion of 0.69 +/- 0.32 microg/kg/hr. All procedures were completed. Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate decreased (p < .0001) but remained within normal limits for age. End-tidal CO(2) exceeded 50 mm Hg in seven of 404 measurements (1.7%). Mean recovery time was 84 +/- 42 mins and was significantly longer in the rescue (117 +/- 41 mins) vs. primary (69 +/- 34 mins) group (p < .0001). No patient developed agitation during recovery.


Dexmedetomidine provided effective sedation in children undergoing noninvasive procedures and represents an alternative sedative choice for this population.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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