BACKGROUND Dexmedetomidine is utilized as a sedative agent for drug induced sleep cine magnetic resonance imaging studies due to its ability to mimic natural sleep and lack of respiratory depressant effects. The outcomes of dexmedetomidine sedation such as respiratory complications and unplanned admissions in obstructive sleep apnea patients undergoing these studies are currently unknown.
AIM To describe the outcomes of dexmedetomidine sedation for outpatient drug induced sleep magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
METHODS This is a retrospective chart review conducted in pediatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea undergoing outpatient drug induced sleep ciné magnetic resonance imaging studies with dexmedetomidine sedation. Demographics, co-morbidities, polysomnography study results, vital signs, respiratory complications, airway interventions, successful completion of the scan and unplanned hospital admissions were measured.
MAIN RESULTS We analyzed 337 patients aged 2 – 18 years (median age of 11 years). The imaging was completed with dexmedetomidine as the sole sedative agent in 61% (N=207) patients. Ketamine was administered as additional sedative agent in 36% (N=122) of the patients. There was no difference in sedation related adverse events and respiratory complications with regards to the severity of sleep apnea with the exception of mild desaturation episodes (SpO2 85-90%). Patients who received additional sedative agents had significantly longer recovery room stay [71.5 (44) vs 55 (39) minutes; 95% CI of difference (9-23 min), p<0.001] and total periprocedural stay [164.5 (52) vs 138 (64) minutes; 95% CI of difference (17-35 min), p<0.001].
CONCLUSIONS Dexmedetomidine alone or along with ketamine provided acceptable sedation in majority of the patients with obstructive sleep apnea undergoing outpatient diagnostic sleep magnetic resonance imaging studies without significant respiratory adverse events regardless of the severity of sleep apnea. Sedation failure and unplanned admissions are rare and routine planned admission may not be required for this patient population.