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Talke PO. Caldwell JE. Richardson CA. Kirkegaard-Nielsen H. Stafford M., The effects of dexmedetomidine on neuromuscular blockade in human volunteers. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 88(3):633-9, 1999.
Because the neuromuscular effects of dexmedetomidine in humans are unknown, the authors evaluated the effect of dexmedetomidine on neuromuscular block and hemodynamics during propofol/alfentanil anesthesia. During propofol/alfentanil anesthesia, the rocuronium infusion rate was adjusted in 10 volunteers to maintain a stable first response (T1) in the train-of-four sequence at 50% +/- 3% of the pre-rocuronium value. Dexmedetomidine was then administered by computer-controlled infusion, targeting a plasma dexmedetomidine concentration of 0.6 ng/mL for 45 min. The evoked mechanical responses of the adductor pollicis responses (T1 response and T4/T1 ratio), systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR), and transmitted light through a fingertip were measured during the dexmedetomidine infusion and compared with predexmedetomidine values using repeated-measures analysis of variance and Dunnett's test. Plasma dexmedetomidine levels ranged from 0.68 to 1.24 ng/mL. T1 values decreased during the infusion, from 51% +/- 2% to 44% +/- 9% (P < 0.0001). T4/T1 values did not change during the infusion. Plasma rocuronium concentrations increased during the infusion (P = 0.02). Dexmedetomidine increased SBP (P < 0.001) and decreased HR (P < 0.001) (5-min median values) during the infusion compared with values before the infusion. Dexmedetomidine increased the transmitted light through the fingertip by up to 41% +/- 8% during the dexmedetomidine infusion (P < 0.001). The authors demonstrated that dexmedetomidine (0.98 +/- 0.01 microg/kg) increased the plasma rocuronium concentration, decreased T1, increased SBP, and decreased finger blood flow during propofol/alfentanil anesthesia. The authors conclude that that dexmedetomidine-induced vasoconstriction may alter the pharmacokinetics of rocuronium.
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