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J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2017 Jul;29(3):274-280. doi: 10.1097/ANA.0000000000000305.

Use of Dexmedetomidine Along With Local Infiltration Versus General Anesthesia for Burr Hole and Evacuation of Chronic Subdural Hematoma (CSDH).

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Departments of *Neuroanesthesia †Biostatistics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



In neurosurgery, chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a very common clinical entity. Both general anesthesia (GA) and local anesthesia with or without sedation are used for the surgical treatment of CSDH. Sedation with dexmedetomidine has been safely used for various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. However, its effectiveness against GA has not been evaluated for surgical treatment of CSDH. We tried to compare dexmedetomidine sedation technique with the GA technique for surgical treatment of CSDH.


In this prospective-randomized study, 76 patients undergoing surgery for CSDH were divided into 2 groups using computer-generated randomized tables; Dex group ([n=38]; received IV bolus of dexmedetomidine 1 mcg/kg over 10 min followed by maintenance infusion 0.5 mcg/kg/h) and GA group ([n=38; of which 4 patients were dropped out]; received endotracheal intubation with balanced anesthesia).


Both anesthesia techniques (Dex group; n=35/38 [92.1%] and GA group; n=34/34 [100%]) were successfully used for surgical treatment of CSDH. Significantly less time for anesthesia onset (14.2±4.2 vs. 20.5±3.4 min, P=0.001), total duration of surgery (77.1±23.9 vs. 102.7± 24.8 min, P=0.001), and recovery from anesthesia (7.4±5.9 vs. 13.2±6.5 min, P=0.004) was observed in the Dex group compared with GA group. Perioperative hemodynamic fluctuations were more common in the GA group as against the Dex group. Postoperative complications (n=2 vs. 9, P=0.021) and length of hospital stay (1.05±0.23 vs. 1.79±2.1 d, P=0.007) were significantly less in the Dex group as against the GA group.


Dexmedetomidine sedation with local anesthesia is a safe and effective technique for burr hole and evacuation of CSDH. It is associated with significantly shorter operative time, lesser hemodynamic fluctuations, postoperative complications, and length of hospital stay, thus it is a better alternative to GA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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