Background: Dexmedetomidine (DEX) can cause hypotension complicating its use in critically ill patients with labile hemodynamics secondary to an underlying disease state such as heart failure. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of DEX on mean arterial pressure (MAP) in nonsurgical patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Methods: This retrospective single-center cohort study evaluated patients who received DEX in the cardiac care and medical intensive care units at a large academic hospital. The primary end point was the change in MAP within 6 hours following DEX initiation. Results: Sixty-five patients with HFrEF diagnosis were compared 1:1 to a control group without HFrEF. Both groups experienced a decrease in MAP over the study period. Patients with HFrEF had a greater absolute percentage reduction in MAP 1 hour following DEX initiation compared to the control group (−9.6% vs −5.2%; P <.01). When accounting for the combined effect of DEX initiation and HFrEF diagnosis on the primary end point, patients with HFrEF did not have a significant difference in MAP compared to the control group over the study period. Conclusions: Within 6 hours following DEX initiation, both groups experienced a decrease in MAP. The effect of DEX on MAP over the composite time period was not found to be significantly different in the HFrEF group compared to the non-HFrEF group. However, patients with HFrEF experienced a greater reduction in MAP in the first hour following DEX initiation compared to the non-HFrEF group. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the effect of DEX on patients with acute decompensated HFrEF compared to patients with compensated HFrEF.
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine