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We investigated the efficacy and complication profile of intranasal dexmedetomidine for transthoracic echocardiography sedation in patients with single ventricle physiology and shunt-dependent pulmonary blood flow during the high-risk interstage period.
A single-centre, retrospective review identified interstage infants who received dexmedetomidine for echocardiography sedation. Baseline and procedural vitals were reported. Significant adverse events related to sedation were defined as an escalation in care or need for any additional/increased inotropic support to maintain pre-procedural haemodynamics. Minor adverse events were defined as changes from baseline haemodynamics that resolved without intervention. To assess whether sedation was adequate, echocardiogram reports were reviewed for completeness.
From September to December 2020, five interstage patients (age 29–69 days) were sedated with 3 mcg/kg intranasal dexmedetomidine. The median sedation onset time and duration time was 24 minutes (range 12–43 minutes) and 60 minutes (range 33–60 minutes), respectively. Sedation was deemed adequate in all patients as complete echocardiograms were accomplished without a rescue dose. When compared to baseline, three (60%) patients had a >10% reduction in heart rate, one (20%) patient had a >10% reduction in oxygen saturations, and one (20%) patient had a >30% decrease in blood pressure. Amongst all patients, no significant complications occurred and haemodynamic changes from baseline did not result in need for intervention or interruption of study.
Intranasal dexmedetomidine may be a reasonable option for echocardiography sedation in infants with shunt-dependent single ventricle heart disease, and further investigation is warranted to ensure efficacy and safety in an outpatient setting.
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