The use of Dexmedetomidine in patients with Spinal Cord Injury

  • S. Afrati
  • J. Vlamis
  • S. Pneumaticos
Keywords: Spinal Cord Injury, Dexmedetomidine, ICU, Surgery


Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may often lead to significant disability in affected individuals and reduce quality of life.

Over 70% of SCI patients suffer from multiple injuries, concomitant with spinal cord trauma, contributing to the high rates of associated complications during the acute and long-term phases of care [1].

SCI impairs body’s autonomic and biomechanical performance by interrupting communications between the brain, organ systems, muscles and bones. This carries important implications on patients’ ability to perform basic daily-lifeactivities and reserve capacity to withstand illnesses and aging [2].

Dexmedetomidine, an imidazole compound, is a highly selective a2-adrenoreceptor agonist, even ten times more selective than Clonidine. It is a very versatile drug in anaesthesia practice, nowadays applied in increasing number of clinical scenarios.  It is an analgesic with anaesthetic sparing effects, sympatholytic properties, applied for procedural sedation, displaying cardiovascular stabilizing properties. It reduces delirium and preserves respiratory function, adding benefits to its use [3].

The aim of this review is to present the evolving role of Dexmedetomidine in patients with Spinal Cord Injuries in anaesthesia and ICU sedation and discuss its limitations.


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Author Biographies

S. Afrati

Anesthesiologist, Academic Fellow, 3rd Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece

J. Vlamis

As.Professor of Orthopedics, 3rd Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece

S. Pneumaticos

Professor of Orthopedics, 3rd Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece


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