J Clin Pharm Ther. 2021 Oct 19. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.13548. Online ahead of print.
WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Currently, dexmedetomidine is widely used in the treatment of sepsis patients requiring mechanical ventilation; however, its role remains controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine in sepsis patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
METHODS: The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library electronic databases were searched to identify relevant studies; Review Manager version 5.4 was used to perform the meta-analysis. Primary outcomes included the all-cause mortality rate at the longest follow-up available and the duration of mechanical ventilation. Secondary outcomes included length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, length of hospital stay, and adverse events (bradycardia).
RESULTS: Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs), including 926 patients, were assessed. Overall, dexmedetomidine did not reduce all-cause mortality in mechanically ventilated patients with sepsis (relative risk [RR]: 0.9, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77 to 1.05, p = 0.18, I2 = 37%). However, dexmedetomidine was associated with decreases in the length of hospital stay (mean difference [MD]: -2.99, 95% CI: -4.72 to -1.26, p = 0.0007, I2 = 0%), ICU length of stay (MD: -1.15, 95% CI: -2.06 to -0.24, p = 0.01, I2 = 32%) and duration of mechanical ventilation (MD: -0.72, 95% CI: -1.38 to -0.07, p = 0.03, I2 = 20%). However, dexmedetomidine increased the risk for bradycardia (22% versus 12.6%, respectively; RR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.24 to 2.41, p = 0.001, I2 = 0%).
WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: Results suggested that dexmedetomidine did not reduce all-cause mortality in mechanically ventilated patients with sepsis. However, it was associated with decreases in length of hospital stay, ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, although it increased the risk for bradycardia.