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Br J Anaesth. 1991 Jan;66(1):108-15.

Effect of clonidine on the circulation and vasoactive hormones after aortic surgery.

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Department of Anesthesiology, CHU Mondor, Créteil, France.


After completion of abdominal aortic graft, 29 patients received an i.v. infusion of placebo (n = 16) or clonidine 7 micrograms kg-1 (n = 13) over 120 min in a double-blind study. Cardiovascular variables were measured and plasma samples obtained up to 5 h after arrival in the recovery room, for assay of noradrenaline, adrenaline, vasopressin and renin concentrations. Noradrenaline, adrenaline and vasopressin concentrations decreased in the clonidine group throughout recovery (P less than 0.001, 0.05 and 0.05, respectively, vs placebo). Heart rate was less in the clonidine group (P less than 0.01). There was no significant difference in mean arterial pressure between groups. Stroke volume was larger (P less than 0.01) and there were fewer episodes of hypertension (P less than 0.05) and tachycardia in the clonidine group. In addition, a reduction in the number of circulatory interventions (P less than 0.05) and episodes of shivering was noted in the clonidine group. Mean (SD) postoperative volume requirements were larger in the clonidine group (total postoperative input: clonidine 1462 (604) ml; placebo 1064 (348) ml (P less than 0.05]. These data are consistent with the observation that clonidine modifies endocrine and circulatory status after major surgery.

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