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Anesth Essays Res. 2019 Oct-Dec;13(4):683-687. doi: 10.4103/aer.AER_134_19. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Safety and Efficacy of Dexmedetomidine versus Propofol Infusion as an Adjunct to Transtracheal Block in Ensuring Patient Immobility During General Anesthesia without the Use of Muscle Relaxants.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India.



In surgeries where nerve stimulation study is required intraoperatively, the use of long-acting muscle relaxants should be avoided.

Aim of Study:

This study aimed to assess the efficacy of dexmedetomidine versus propofol infusion as an adjunct to transtracheal block to ensure patient immobility during general anesthesia without the use of muscle relaxants and to compare hemodynamics in both the groups.

Settings and Design:

It was a prospective randomized controlled trial done at a tertiary care center.

Subjects and Methods:

Forty adult patients undergoing brachial plexus surgeries were included in the study and all patients received a transtracheal block just before the induction. After standardized induction and intubation, Group D received intravenous (i.v.) bolus of dexmedetomidine 0.5 μ body weight followed by infusion at 0.5 μg/kg/h intraoperatively. In Group B, the infusion of propofol was started at 1 mg/kg/h after induction. In both the groups, if the patient moved, bucked on endotracheal tube, or if there were signs of inadequate depth of anesthesia, bolus of propofol 0.5 i.v. was given and repeated as required.

Statistical Tests Used:

Mann-Whitney U-test and Fisher's exact test were used for the statistical analysis.


Number of times propofol bolus was required intraoperatively and hemodynamic parameters were comparable in both the groups at all-time points. Time to extubate was significantly higher in Group P compared to Group D (16.06 ± 5.78 vs. 9.61 ± 11.53 min).


The use of dexmedetomidine infusion as an adjunct to transtracheal block is superior to propofol infusion in view of significantly shorter extubation time though both the agents provided comparable intraoperative hemodynamics and patient immobility.


Dexmedetomidine; general anesthesia; propofol; relaxants; transtracheal

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