Use of dexmedetomidine for prophylactic analgesia and sedation in delayed extubation patients after craniotomy: a study protocol and statistical analysis plan for a randomized controlled trial.

Research paper by Li-Hong LH Zhao, Zhong-Hua ZH Shi, Ning-Ning NN Yin, Jian-Xin JX Zhou

Indexed on: 15 Aug '13Published on: 15 Aug '13Published in: Trials


Pain and agitation are common in patients after craniotomy. They can result in tachycardia, hypertension, immunosuppression, increased catecholamine production and increased oxygen consumption. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, provides adequate sedation without respiratory depression, while facilitating frequent neurological evaluation.The study is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled, parallel-group design. Consecutive patients are randomly assigned to one of the two treatment study groups, labeled 'Dex group' or 'Saline group.' Dexmedetomidine group patients receive a continuous infusion of 0.6 μg/kg/h (10 ug/ml). Placebo group patients receive a maintenance infusion of 0.9% sodium chloride for injection at a volume and rate equal to that of dexmedetomidine. The mean percentages of time in optimal sedation, vital signs, various and adverse events, the percentage of patients requiring propofol for rescue to achieve/maintain targeted sedation (Sedation-Agitation Scale, SAS 3 to 4) and total dose of propofol required throughout the study drug infusion are collected. The percentage of patients requiring fentanyl for additional rescue to analgesia and total dose of fentanyl required are recorded. The effects of dexmedetomidine on hemodynamic and recovery responses during extubation are measured. Intensive care unit and hospital length of stay also are collected. Plasma levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, cortisol, neuron-specific enolase and S100-B are measured before infusion (T1), at two hours (T2), four hours (T3) and eight hours (T4) after infusion and at the end of infusion (T5) in 20 patients in each group.The study has been initiated as planned in July 2012. One interim analysis advised continuation of the trial. The study will be completed in July 2013.ClinicalTrials (NCT): ChiCTR-PRC-12002903.