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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 205-212

Adding dexmedetomidine to bupivacaine–fentanyl mixture in high-risk elderly patients undergoing orthopedic surgery: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study

Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Minia University, Minya, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sohair A Megalla
Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Minia University, Minya, 61519
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/roaic.roaic_39_17

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Objectives The increased demand for spinal anesthesia in high risk elderly patients with comorbidity dictates the continual search for drug combinations to improve perioperative analgesia while limiting side effects. This study was designed to compare block characteristics, postoperative analgesia and hemodynamic effects associated with intrathecal dexmedetomidine when added to bupivacaine–fentanyl mixture in high risk elderly patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. Methods This prospective, double blind, randomized controlled study included fifty patients ≥60 years old, of either sex, ASA III and IV undergoing elective orthopedic hip surgery in one lower limb under unilateral spinal anesthesia. The patients were randomized in two groups to receive; Group F: 12.5 mg of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine + 20 μg fentanyl. Group FD: 12.5 mg of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine + 20 μg of fentanyl + 6 μg dexmedetomidine. Block characteristics, hemodynamic changes, postoperative analgesia and adverse effects were studied. Results The addition of dexmedetomidine (DEX) had no significant impact on the onset or highest level of sensory or motor blockade. DEX, however, significantly increased the duration of sensory and motor block and postoperative analgesia. Average times to first request for analgesia were longer in FD group (522.79±59.0 min) compared to (207.37±20.19 min) in F group (P=0.000). Blood pressure and heart rate changes were not significantly different among both groups. Pruritis was observed in 12% in F Group, whereas sedation was significantly more frequent in Group FD. Conclusion Addition of 6 μg dexmedetomidine to 12.5 mg bupivacaine + 20 µg fentanyl intrathecally greatly enhanced the duration of postoperative analgesia and was not associated with hemodynamic instability or other complications in high risk elderly patients undergoing orthopedic surgery under unilateral spinal anesthesia.

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