Ankith Naduvanahalli Vivekanandaswamy, Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Rishi Mugesh Kanna, Rajasekaran Shanmuganathan

March 2021, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 698 - 705 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06539-9

First Online: 21 July 2020


To evaluate whether use of dexmedetomidine, a centrally acting α2 adrenergic agonist, reduces opioid consumption in PSF.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients who underwent PSF were randomized into morphine (M) and dexmedetomidine (D) group. M group received a 10 μg/kg/h IV infusion of morphine for 24 h post-surgery, while the D group received a 0.4 μg/kg/h IV infusion of dexmedetomidine. Trained nursing staffs recorded hourly vital parameters (blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation). Pain, postoperative nausea/vomiting (PONV), and sedation were rated using: the numerical rating scale (NRS), the PONV scale, and sedation status scale (SS). Preemptive analgesia with gabapentin and postoperative analgesia with ketorolac and paracetamol were used in both the groups. Any complications in the study groups were recorded.


No significant difference was noted between the groups (M vs D) with respect to NRS (3.1 ± 0.8 vs 2.7 ± 0.5) (p = 0.07) and breakthrough analgesia requirements (0.78 vs 0.45) (p = 0.17). A significant difference was noted between the groups with respect to the secondary outcome measures of time to ambulation (56.6 ± 12.7 h vs 45.2 ± 7.7 h), time to oral analgesics (84.3 ± 20 h vs 64.0 ± 15.4 h), and time to liquid intake (8.3 ± 1.3 h vs 7.2 ± 1.2 h). The M group had a higher PONV score (0.46 ± 0.3 vs 0.16 ± 0.1) (p 


Dexmedetomidine provided analgesia comparable to morphine with lower PONV scores. It also reduced the opioid requirements in the PSF patients without additional complications and can therefore be incorporated in pain management protocols.

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