Efficacy of Prophylactic Dexmedetomidine in Preventing Postoperative Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia After Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
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Background Postoperative junctional ectopic tachycardia is one of the most serious arrhythmias that occur after pediatric cardiac surgery, difficult to treat and better to be prevented. Our aim was to assess the efficacy of prophylactic dexmedetomidine in preventing junctional ectopic tachycardia after pediatric cardiac surgery.
Methods and Results A prospective controlled study was carried out on 90 children who underwent elective cardiac surgery for congenital heart diseases. Patients were randomized into 2 groups. Group I (dexmedetomidine group): 60 patients received dexmedetomidine; Group II (Placebo group): 30 patients received the same amount of normal saline intravenously. The primary outcome was the incidence of postoperative junctional ectopic tachycardia. Secondary outcomes included bradycardia, hypotension, vasoactive inotropic score, ventilation time, pediatric cardiac care unit stay, length of hospital stay, and perioperative mortality. The incidence of junctional ectopic tachycardia was significantly reduced in the dexmedetomidine group (3.3%) compared with the placebo group (16.7%) with P<0.005. Heart rate while coming off cardiopulmonary bypass was significantly lower in the dexmedetomidine group (130.6±9) than the placebo group (144±7.1) with P<0.001. Mean ventilation time, and mean duration of intensive care unit and hospital stay (days) were significantly shorter in the dexmedetomidine group than the placebo group (P<0.001). However, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups as regards mortality, bradycardia, or hypotension (P>0.005).
Conclusion Prophylactic use of dexmedetomidine is associated with significantly decreased incidence of postoperative junctional ectopic tachycardia in children after congenital heart surgery without significant side effects.