Background: Dexmedetomidine, is a selective α2-adrenoceptor agonist that is used as an adjuvant mixed with local anesthetics during regional anesthesia. This study was designed to test the efficacy of adding dexmedetomidine to bupivacaine during placement of infraclavicular brachial plexus blockade (ICB).
Methods: Sixty adult patients were divided into 2 equal groups of 30 subjects each. Patients in Group I received an ICB using 30 mL of 0.33% bupivacaine and Group II patients received 30 mL of 0.33% bupivacaine mixed with 0.75 μg/kg of dexmedetomidine. The following brachial plexus nerve block parameters were assessed: block success rate, sensory onset time and duration, motor block onset time and duration, analgesic pain scores using the verbal rating scale (VRS) for pain, duration of analgesia, and amount of supplemental intravenous (IV) morphine required.
Results: There was a statistically significant shorter time to onset of sensory blockade (13.2 vs 19.4 min, P=0.003), longer duration of sensory block (179.4 vs 122.7 min, P=0.002), shorter onset time to achieve motor block (15.3 vs 22.2 min, P=0.003), longer duration of motor block (155.5 vs 105.7 min, P=0.002), lower VRS pain scores, prolonged analgesia (403 vs 233 min, P=0.002), and lower morphine rescue requirements for 48 h after surgery (4.9 (0-8.0) vs 13.6 mg (4.0-16.0) mg, P=0.005). All patients recovered without evidence of sensory or motor deficit.
Conclusion: ADDING DEXMEDETOMIDINE TO BUPIVACAINE DURING THE PLACEMENT OF AN ICB PROVIDES: (1) enhancement of onset of sensory and motor blockade, (2) prolonged duration of analgesia, (3) increases duration of sensory and motor block, (4) yields lower VRS pain scores, and (5) reduces supplemental opioid requirements.
Keywords: Analgesia; dexmedetomidine; infraclavicular block.