Dexmedetomidine-ketamine and propofol-ketamine combinations for anesthesia in spontaneously breathing pediatric patients undergoing cardiac catheterization

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2006 Aug;20(4):515-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2005.07.018. Epub 2006 Jan 23.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of dexmedetomidine-ketamine and propofol-ketamine combinations on hemodynamics, sedation level, and the recovery period in pediatric patients undergoing cardiac catheterization.

Design: Prospective, randomized trial.

Setting: University hospital.

Participants: Children (n = 44) undergoing cardiac catheterization.

Interventions: The dexmedetomidine plus ketamine group (group 1, n = 22) received an infusion over 10 minutes of 1 microg/kg of dexmedetomidine and ketamine, 1 mg/kg, as a bolus, for induction. The patients then received an infusion of 0.7 microg/kg/h of dexmedetomidine and 1 mg/kg/h of ketamine for maintenance. The propofol plus ketamine group (group 2, n = 22) received 1 mg/kg of propofol and 1 mg/kg of ketamine for induction. The patients received 100 microg/kg/min of propofol and 1 mg/kg/h of ketamine by infusion for maintenance. Additional doses of ketamine, 1 mg/kg, were administered when a patient showed discomfort in both groups.

Measurements and main results: Hemodynamic data, respiratory rate, bispectral index, and sedation scores were recorded after induction and every 15 minutes thereafter. The time to reach a Steward recovery score of 6 was recorded. The heart rate in group 1 was significantly lower (average 10-20 beats/min) than group 2 after induction and throughout the procedure. Ketamine consumption in group 1 was significantly more than in group 2 (2.03 mg/kg/h v 1.25 mg/kg/h) for maintenance (p < 0.01). The recovery time was also longer in group 1 than in group 2 (49.54 v 23.16 minutes, respectively; p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The dexmedetomidine-ketamine combination was not superior to a propofol-ketamine combination because of insufficient sedation and analgesia and a longer recovery time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia Recovery Period
  • Anesthetics, Dissociative*
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Dexmedetomidine / administration & dosage*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Infant
  • Ketamine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Propofol / administration & dosage*
  • Respiration


  • Anesthetics, Dissociative
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Ketamine
  • Propofol