CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Neurosci Rural Pract 2017; 08(S 01): S049-S056
DOI: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_91_17
Original Article
Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice

Alleviating Stress Response to Tracheal Extubation in Neurosurgical Patients: A Comparative Study of Two Infusion Doses of Dexmedetomidine

Ankur Luthra
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Hemanshu Prabhakar
1  Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
Girija Prasad Rath
1  Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 September 2019 (online)


Background: Tracheal extubation is almost always associated with increase in sympathoadrenal activity may result in hypertension, tachycardia, and arrhythmias. Attempts have been made to oppose the pressor response by the use of various drugs. Dexmedetomidine decreases norepinephrine which reduces the blood pressure and the heart rate (HR). We hypothesize that the infusion of dexmedetomidine may produce more stable hemodynamics during extubation as compared to boluses. Materials and Methods: Ninety adult patients aged 18–65 years, the American Society of Anesthesiologists Grade I–II undergoing intracranial surgeries for various neurologic problem at All India Institute of Medical Sciences were enrolled in this randomized controlled trial. Primary Objectives: (1) To observe the hemodynamic changes (HR and mean arterial pressure [MAP]) and airway responses during tracheal extubation following two infusion doses of dexmedetomidine. Secondary Objectives: (1) Time to emergence and time to tracheal extubation, (2) Early postoperative complications such as laryngospasm and bronchospasm, and (3) adverse effects of the study drug. Patients were assigned into three groups – (1) Group D0.2 – 0.2 μg/kg/h diluted to 50 ml, (2) Group D0.4 – 0.4 μg/kg/h diluted to 50 ml and Group P (Placebo) – 0.9% NS 50 ml. The hemodynamics including the HR and MAP were recorded just before the loading dose of the study drug and then were recorded every 5 min till the infusion was stopped at tracheal extubation and every 1 min till 10 min postextubation. In addition, the airway, respiratory and cardiovascular complications along with postoperative nausea and vomiting, shivering, cough grading, Aldrete score, Ramsay sedation scale, and intraoperative awareness were recorded. Statistical Analysis: Continuous variables such as HR and MAP were analyzed using analysis of variance and categorical variables were analyzed using the Chi-square test. Results: Patient demographics were comparable between the three groups. There was a significant reduction in HR and MAP just before extubation and up to 10 min post extubation in the D0.2 and D0.4 groups as compared to placebo (P < 0.001) but the difference among the dexmedetomidine groups were not significant. Patients belonging to D0.2 group emerged faster than D0.4 group, however, the results were comparable with placebo group. 73.3% patients of the placebo group had tachycardia and hypertension at emergence as compared to only 3.3% patients in the D0.4 group (P < 0.001). Eighty percentage patients of D0.2 and 100% patients of D0.4 group had a significant reduction in cough as compared to placebo (P < 0.001). No patient in either groups had intraoperative awareness, any respiratory complications, or allergic reactions to the study drug. Modified Aldrete scoring and Ramsay sedation scale were comparable in all the three groups. Conclusion: Dexmedetomidine suppresses cough and hemodynamic responses (HR and MAP) to tracheal extubation significantly without delaying emergence.