Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Original investigation

Does dexmedetomidine reduce the risk of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Chunxiao Zha, Shuo Li, Huiquan Zhan, MengqiGa

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Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a common complication after cardiac surgery and has been associated with poor outcomes. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) has been shown to confer direct renoprotection based on some animal and clinical studies, but data from other trials came to the opposite conclusion following cardiac surgery. This meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the effects of perioperative DEX administration on the occurrence of AKI and the outcomes after cardiac surgery.


We searched databases including EMBASE, PubMed, and Cochrane CENTRAL for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) focused on DEX for AKI in adult patients after cardiac surgery. The primary outcome was incidence of AKI. Secondary outcomes were Mechanical Ventilation (MV) duration, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Length Of Stay (LOS), hospital LOS and mortality.


Fifteen trials enrolling 2907 study patients were collected in the meta-analyses. Compared with controls, DEX reduced the incidence of postoperative AKI (Odds Ratio [OR = 0.66]; 95% Confidence Interval [95% CI 0.48–0.91]; p = 0.01), and there was no significant difference between groups in postoperative mortality (OR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.32–1.26; p = 0.19), MV duration (Weighted Mean Difference [WMD = -0.44]; 95% CI -1.50–0.63; p = 0.42), ICU LOS (WMD = -1.19; 95% CI -2.89–0.51; p = 0.17), and hospital LOS (WMD = -0.31; 95% CI -0.76–0.15; p = 0.19).


Perioperative DEX reduced the incidence of postoperative AKI in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. No significant decrease existed in mortality, MV duration, ICU LOS and hospital LOS owing to DEX administration.


Acute kidney injury;  Cardiac surgery;  Dexmedetomidine;  Meta-analysis
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Braz J Anesthesiol

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