International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 139–147 | Cite as

Incidence of bradycardia in pediatric patients receiving dexmedetomidine anesthesia: a meta-analysis

  • Maowei Gong
  • Yuanyuan Man
  • Qiang FuEmail author
Research Article


Background Dexmedetomidine, an α2-receptor agonist, provides potent sedation, analgesia, and anxiolysis without respiratory depression and is used in a variety of surgical and procedural situations. Aim of the review The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of bradycardia in pediatric patients who received dexmedetomidine as a sole agent for any procedural, intensive care or surgical sedation. Method Literature was searched in electronic databases and studies were selected by following pre-determined eligibility criteria. Meta-analyses were carried out by pooling the percent incidence of bradycardia to attain a weighted overall effect size. Age-wise subgroup analyses and meta-regression analyses for the identification of factors affecting the incidence were also performed. Results Data of 2835 patients from 21 studies were included. The mean age was 62.21 ± 35.68 months. Initial, maintenance and total doses of dexmedetomidine (mean ± standard deviation) were 1.63 ± 0.33 μg/kg body weight, 0.86 ± 0.68 μg/kg/h, and 26.7 ± 20.8 μg/kg. The overall incidence of bradycardia (95% confidence interval) was 3.067 (2.863, 3.270)%; P < 0.0001. However, range was wider (0–22%) with 9 studies observed 0% incidence. The mean change in the heart rate was −17.26 (−21.60, −12.92); P < 0.00001. In the meta-regression analyses, age, body weight and dexmedetomidine dose were not significantly associated with the incidence of bradycardia. The minimum heart rate observed during the dexmedetomidine treatment period was positively associated with baseline heart rate. Conclusion Incidence of bradycardia in dexmedetomidine treated pediatric patients is 3%.


Analgesia Anesthesia Bradycardia Dexmedetomidine Heart rate Sedation 




Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anesthesia and Operation CenterChinese General Hospital of PLABeijingChina

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