Use of α(2)-Agonists in Neuroanesthesia: An Overview

Ochsner J. 2011 Spring;11(1):57-69.


α(2)-Agonists are a novel class of drugs with mechanisms of action that differ from other commonly used anesthetic drugs. They have neuroprotective, cardioprotective, and sedative effects. These unique characteristics make them potentially useful during neuroanesthesia and intensive care. We review the effects of dexmedetomidine on cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolism, along with recent advances in using α(2)-agonists in neuroanesthesia and neurointensive care.

Keywords: Alpha-2 agonist; anesthesia; dexmedetomidine; neuroanesthesia; neuroprotection.