Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Systematic Review

Effects of dexmedetomidine in non-operating room anesthesia in adults: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Francisca Jerónimo Fonseca, Leonardo Ferreira, Ana Lídia Rouxinol-Dias, Joana Mourão

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Background: Dexmedetomidine (DEX) is an a2-adrenergic receptor agonist used for its sedative, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects. Non-Operating Room Anesthesia (NORA) is a modality of anesthesia that can be done under general anesthesia or procedural sedation or/and analgesia. In this particular setting, a level-2 sedation, such as the one provided by DEX, is beneficial. We aimed to study the effects and safety of DEX in the different NORA settings in the adult population.
Methods: A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted. Interventions using DEX only or DEX associated with other sedative agents, in adults (18 years old or more), were included. Procedures outside the NORA setting and/or without a control group without DEX were excluded. MEDLINE,, Scopus, LILACS, and SciELO were searched. The primary outcome was time until full recovery. Secondary outcomes included hemodynamic and respiratory complications and other adverse events, among others.
Results: A total of 97 studies were included with a total of 6,706 participants. The meta-analysis demonstrated that DEX had a higher time until full recovery (95% CI = [0.34, 3.13] minutes, a higher incidence of hypotension (OR = 1.95 [1.25, 3.05], p = 0.003, I2 = 39%) and bradycardia (OR = 3.60 [2.29, 5.67], p < 0.00001, I2 = 0%), and a lower incidence of desaturation (OR = 0.40 [0.25, 0.66], p = 0.0003, I2 = 60%).

Conclusion: DEX in NORA procedures in adults was associated with a lower incidence of amnesia and respiratory effects but had a long time to recovery and more hemodynamic complications.


Anesthesiology; Conscious sedation; Dexmedetomidine; Hypnotics and sedatives; Patient safety


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