Background: During the lead implantation of most spinal cord neurostimulators, the patient has to be comfortable and without pain. However, the patient is expected to provide feedback during electrical mapping. Titrating sedatives and analgesics for this double goal can be challenging. In comparison with our standard sedative agent propofol, the pharmacological profile of dexmedetomidine is more conducive to produce arousable sedation. The latter, however, is associated with hemodynamic side effects. We investigated whether dexmedetomidine is preferable over propofol during neurostimulator implantation. Methods: This single-center single-blinded randomized controlled trial included 72 patients with an indication for a neurostimulator, randomized to sedation with either propofol (0.5 mg/kg for 10 minutes, followed by 2.0 mg/kg/h) or dexmedetomidine (1 μg/kg for 10 minutes, followed by 0.6 μg/kg/h). The primary outcome was patient satisfaction with the sedation. The secondary outcomes were patient's and operator's comfort, number of titration adjustments, standard intraoperative hemodynamic and respiratory parameters and side effects. Results: Data of 69 patients (dexmedetomidine n = 35; propofol n = 34) were analyzed. Those receiving dexmedetomidine were more satisfied with the sedation than those receiving propofol; i.e. with sedation delivery (median 100.0 vs 83.3, P <.01), procedural recall (median 95.8 vs 83.3, P =.03), and sedation side effects (median 90.0 vs 83.3, P =.01). Fewer changes in the dexmedetomidine titration were necessary to maintain arousable sedation. Over time, mean arterial pressure and heart rate were significantly lower in the dexmedetomidine group. Hemodynamic side effects were comparable across groups. Conclusions: Dexmedetomidine sedation resulted in higher patient satisfaction and allowed for better arousable sedation than sedation with propofol. Although differences in hemodynamic parameters were found between the groups, these differences were not regarded as clinically relevant.

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Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica: an international journal of anaesthesiology and intensive care, pain and emergency medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

ter Bruggen, F.F.J.A. (Feline F. J. A.), Ceuppens, C. (Charlotte), Leliveld, L. (Leo), Stronks, D., & Huygen, F. (2019). Dexmedetomidine vs propofol as sedation for implantation of neurostimulators: A single-center single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica: an international journal of anaesthesiology and intensive care, pain and emergency medicine. doi:10.1111/aas.13452