Association between perioperative dexmedetomidine and arrhythmias after surgery for congenital heart disease.

Shuplock JM, Smith AH, Owen J, Van Driest SL, Marshall M, Saville B, Xu M, Radbill AE, Fish FA, Kannankeril PJ
Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2015 8 (3): 643-50

PMID: 25878324 · PMCID: PMC4472529 · DOI:10.1161/CIRCEP.114.002301

BACKGROUND - Dexmedetomidine is commonly used after congenital heart surgery and may be associated with a decreased incidence of postoperative tachyarrhythmias. Using a large cohort of patients undergoing congenital heart surgery, we examined for an association between dexmedetomidine use in the immediate postoperative period and subsequent arrhythmia development.

METHODS AND RESULTS - A total of 1593 surgical procedures for congenital heart disease were performed. Dexmedetomidine was administered in the immediate postoperative period after 468 (29%) surgical procedures. When compared with 1125 controls, the group receiving dexmedetomidine demonstrated significantly fewer tachyarrhythmias (29% versus 38%; P<0.001), tachyarrhythmias receiving intervention (14% versus 23%; P<0.001), bradyarrhythmias (18% versus 22%; P=0.03), and bradyarrhythmias receiving intervention (12% versus 16%; P=0.04). After propensity score matching with 468 controls, the arrhythmia incidence between groups became similar: tachyarrhythmias (29% versus 31%; P=0.66), tachyarrhythmias receiving intervention (14% versus 17%; P=0.16), bradyarrhythmias (18% versus 15%; P=0.44), and bradyarrhythmias receiving intervention (12% versus 9%; P=0.17). After excluding controls exposed to dexmedetomidine at a later time in the hospitalization, dexmedetomidine was associated with increased odds of bradyarrhythmias receiving intervention (odds ratio, 2.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-4.65). Furthermore, there was a dose-dependent increase in the odds of bradyarrhythmias (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.07) and bradyarrhythmias receiving intervention (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.08).

CONCLUSIONS - Although dexmedetomidine exposure in the immediate postoperative period is not associated with a clinically meaningful difference in the incidence of tachyarrhythmias after congenital heart surgery, it may be associated with increased odds of bradyarrhythmias.

© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

MeSH Terms (25)

Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists Arrhythmias, Cardiac Bradycardia Cardiac Surgical Procedures Chi-Square Distribution Child Child, Preschool Dexmedetomidine Female Heart Defects, Congenital Humans Incidence Infant Infant, Newborn Logistic Models Male Multivariate Analysis Odds Ratio Propensity Score Retrospective Studies Risk Factors Tachycardia Tennessee Time Factors Treatment Outcome

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