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A randomised controlled trial of dexmedetomidine for delirium in adults undergoing heart valve surgery

April 28, 2023

Summary Dexmedetomidine might reduce delirium after cardiac surgery. We allocated 326 participants to an infusion of dexmedetomidine at a rate of 0.6 lg kg1 for 10 min and then at 0.4 lg.kg1 .h1 until the end of surgery; 326 control participants received comparable volumes of saline. We detected delirium in 98/652 (15%) participants during the first seven postoperative days: 47/326 after dexmedetomidine vs. 51/326 after placebo, p = 0.62, adjusted relative risk (95%CI) 0.86 (0.56–1.33), p = 0.51. Postoperative renal impairment (Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes stages 1, 2 and 3) was detected in 46, 9 and 2 participants after dexmedetomidine and 25, 7 and 4 control participants, p = 0.040. Intra-operative dexmedetomidine infusion did not reduce the incidence of delirium after cardiac valve surgery but might impair renal function.