Purpose. To assess the antiarrhythmic properties of dexmedetomidine in patients in the intensive care unit. Methods. A literature review was conducted with Ovid MEDLINE (R), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Embase, and Scopus. Study Selection. Randomized controlled trials were included, examining the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardia, or ventricular fibrillation with dexmedetomidine compared to placebo or an alternative sedative agent. For each publication that met the selection criteria, the patient demographics, incidence of arrhythmias, mortality, and adverse events were collected. Data extraction was carried out by two authors independently. Results. We identified 6 out of 126 studies that met the selection criteria for our meta-analysis, all of which focused on the perioperative cardiac surgery period. Patients receiving dexmedetomidine demonstrated a significant reduction of the overall incidence of ventricular arrhythmias (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.16, 0.76). In particular, dexmedetomidine significantly decreased the risk of ventricular tachycardia compared with control (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.08, 0.80, I2 0%). Regarding adverse events, dexmedetomidine significantly increased the frequency of bradycardia (RR 2.78 95% CI 2.00, 3.87). However, there was no significant difference in mortality (RR 0.59 95% CI 0.12, 3.02). Conclusion. From this meta-analysis, we report a decreased incidence of ventricular tachycardia with dexmedetomidine in critically ill patients. This result favors the use of dexmedetomidine for its antiarrhythmic properties.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine