Dexmedetomidine is a highly selective 2 -adrenergic agonist approved for short-term sedation and monitored anesthesia care in adults. Although not approved for use in the pediatric population, an increasing number of reports describe its use in pediatric patients during the intraoperative period and in the intensive care unit. Dexmedetomidine can potentially have an adverse impact on the cardiovascular system secondary to its negative chronotropic and dromotropic effects. However, it is these cardiac effects that are currently being explored as a therapeutic option for the treatment of perioperative tachyarrhythmias in pediatric patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). We report the use of dexmedetomidine to treat junctional ectopic tachycardia (JET), which developed following cardiopulmonary bypass for surgical correction of Tetralogy of Fallot in a 6-week-old infant. Within 15 min of increasing the dexmedetomidine infusion from 0.5 to 3 g/kg/h, JET converted to normal sinus rhythm. This case report provides additional anecdotal evidence that dexmedetomidine may have a therapeutic role in the treatment of perioperative tachyarrhythmias in pediatric patients with CHD. The specific effects of dexmedetomidine on the cardiac conduction system are reviewed followed by a summary of previous reports describing its use as a therapeutic agent to treat perioperative arrhythmias.
- Congenital heart disease
- Junctional ectopic tachycardia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine