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Use of Dexmedetomidine to Reduce Emergence Delirium Incident in Children (DexPeds)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center Identifier:
First received: March 6, 2009
Last updated: March 3, 2015
Last verified: January 2015
Emergence delirium (ED) from general anesthesia posts risk and harm to pediatric population undergo general anesthesia. The purpose of the study is to compare the use of dexmedetomidine versus placebo in reducing the incidence and severity of ED in a pediatric neurosurgical population.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Dexmedetomidine
Drug: Saline
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Use of Dexmedetomidine for Emergence Delirium in Children Undergoing General Anesthesia for Endovascular Interventional Neuroradiologic Procedures

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • We will assess emergence delirium utilizing the Cole scale, PAED scale, Objective Pain scale, and ActiCal. [ Time Frame: 2 and 24 hours ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and pulse oximetry) will be continuously monitored in the PICU [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]

Enrollment: 128
Study Start Date: August 2009
Study Completion Date: December 2011
Primary Completion Date: November 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Drug
Drug: Dexmedetomidine
Dexmedetomidine will be dissolved in saline. An initial loading dose of 1.0 mg/kg given over 10 minutes followed by a continuous infusion at 0.4-0.7 mg/kg/hour. Beginning approximately one hour prior to end of surgery and continuing for one hour of recovery in the PACU and the PICU. This, the maximum dose for any one patient will be 2.4 mg/kg
Other Name: Precedex
Placebo Comparator: Control
Normal Saline IV solution
Drug: Saline
Given by a continuous infusion
Other Names:
  • Phosphate buffered saline
  • PBS

Detailed Description:

Emergence delirium from general anesthesia is a common problem in the pediatric population with a reported incidence of up to 80%. In addition to being jarring to children and their parents, ED can cause significant physical harm, particularly to the surgical site. ED is also associated with accidental removal of surgical dressings and drains, intravenous and intra-arterial catheters, increased nursing care, extended recovery room stays, and delayed reunion with parents. Emergence delirium is especially associated with sevoflurane, the most commonly used inhalation anesthetic in pediatrics. At present, there is no single definition of pediatric ED because of its heterogeneous clinical presentation. It has been described as an acute phenomenon in which the child is irritable, uncompromising, uncooperative, incoherent, and inconsolably crying, moaning, kicking or thrashing. Typically, these children do not recognize or identify familiar objects or people, and often exhibit combative behavior. Although ED is a self-limiting phenomenon, it is especially dangerous in the interventional neuroradiologic patient whose femoral artery has been catheterized and must be kept immobile in the immediate post-operative period. These patients also have multiple intravenous and intra-arterial catheters which can be dislodged during an episode of ED. Numerous pharmacologic agents including benzodiazepines, opioids, ketamine, and clonidine, have been studied as prophylactic agents for ED but have met with varying success. Promising results with the α-2 adrenergic agonist clonidine, have spurred interest in a new α-2 adrenergic agonist, dexmedetomidine.

Dexmedetomidine is highly selective for the 2A subtype of the central presynaptic α-2 adrenergic receptor which is associated with sedation and analgesia. It is currently approved for use in adults as a sedative agent in intensive care units but has been used in myriad other ways for sedation. As a sedative, dexmedetomidine is unusual in that it does not depress respiratory drive because its actions are not mediated by the GABA-mimetic system. The quality of sedation produced by dexmedetomidine is unique, and has been described as "cooperative sedation," in which patients can interact with healthcare providers and follow verbal commands. This particular sedation profile permits a patient to be comfortably sedated, yet cooperate for an accurate neurological exam. The most extreme example of this is the awake craniotomy, in which a patient undergoes a neurological examination during surgery. In addition to being sedative, dexmedetomidine is also analgesic and suppresses shivering, making it especially useful in the perioperative period.

There have been studies suggesting a use for dexmedetomidine in ED yet none have examined its use in the pediatric neurosurgical population. Treatment of ED in pediatric neurosurgical patients involves balancing the need for smooth emergence with the need for accurate neurological exams. Benzodiazepines and opioids are currently used to treat ED but are long-acting, interfere with neurological exams, and carry the risks of respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, and acute tolerance. Dexmedetomidine provides an alternative to current treatment modalities for ED, which does not interfere with neurological exams.


Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Months to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Children age 6 months through 17 years of age undergoing interventional neuroradiologic procedures at our hospital under general anesthesia
  • Patients classify as an ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) I-III
  • Have not received anesthetic for over 30 days from previous procedures

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Receiving digoxin therapy from the study
  • Severe congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension requiring vasodilators
  • Disease processes other than that associated with their intracranial pathology, such as hepatic or renal dysfunction
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00857727

United States, New York
St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
New York, New York, United States, 10019
Sponsors and Collaborators
St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
Principal Investigator: Jolie Narang, M.D. St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center Identifier: NCT00857727     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Dex Peds 08-088
Study First Received: March 6, 2009
Last Updated: March 3, 2015

Keywords provided by St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center:
Emergence Delirium

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Psychomotor Agitation
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders
Psychomotor Disorders
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists
Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
Adrenergic Agonists
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on April 24, 2017