Biomedical Research

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Effect of dexmedetomidine on the postoperative cognitive function of patients undergoing radical resection of esophageal cancer

Objective: To investigate the effect of dexmedetomidine on the postoperative cognitive function of patients undergoing radical resection of esophageal cancer.

Methods: A total of 76 patients undergoing radical resection of esophageal cancer were randomly and equally divided into observation and control groups. The patients in the two groups were then treated with continuous intravenous pumping of fentanyl to ease their pain. In the control group, the patients were initially treated with 0.05 mg/kg and then with 0.02-0.08 mg/kg•h-1 rhythim to remain anesthetized. In the observation group, the patients were intravenously infused with 1.0 μg/kg dexmedetomidine and then with 0.2-0.7 μg/kg•h-1 to retain their anesthetized conditions. The sedative effect and incidence of adverse reactions in these patients were compared.

Results: The sedative effects did not significantly differ between the two groups (P>0.05). The recovery time after the drug was withdrawn from the patients in the observation group was significantly shorter than that in the control group (P<0.05). The incidence of adverse reactions in the observation group was 13.16%, which was significantly lower than that in the control group (39.47%; P<0.05). The postoperative SDS and SAS scores of the patients in the two groups were significantly higher than their preoperative scores (P<0.05). The postoperative SDS and SAS scores of the patients in the observation group were also significantly higher than those in the control group (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The sedative effect of dexmedetomidine on patients subjected to general anesthesia and undergoing radical resection of esophageal cancer was good. Dexmedetomidine could improve the cognitive function of patients and reduce the incidence of adverse reactions. Therefore, this drug should be recommended for these patients.

Author(s): Gao-Fei Fan, Yuan Hu, Jun Zhang, Liang Chen, Wen-Sheng He