Clin Ther. 2016 Jan 1;38(1):192-201.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2015.11.016. Epub 2015 Dec 14.
PURPOSE: Patients undergoing awake lumbar disc surgery need adequate sedation and analgesia. This study investigated whether use of a dexmedetomidine-fentanyl (DF) regimen could be superior to midazolam-fentanyl (MF) for these patients. METHODS: Sixty patients scheduled for elective lumbar laminotomy and discectomy were randomly assigned to receive either DF or MF for conscious sedation. Patient-controlled intravenous analgesia with fentanyl was used for postoperative pain management. Hemodynamic and respiratory changes, sedation scores, pain scores, fentanyl consumption, patient satisfaction, postoperative hospital stay, and adverse events were assessed. FINDINGS: The patient and surgical characteristics, sedation levels, and pain scores were similar in the 2 groups. Compared with the MF group, heart rate was lower in the DF group at six time points from skin incision to 15 minutes in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), they are skin incision, 15 min after the beginning of surgery, 30 min after the beginning of surgery, skin closure, entering PACU, and 15 min in PACU (P = 0.016, 0.002, 0.000, 0.000, 0.000, and 0.001, respectively), whereas pulse oxygen saturation was higher at 3 time points from 15 minutes after the beginning of surgery to skin closure (P = 0.022, 0.026, and 0.025, respectively). The intraoperative, postoperative, and total consumption of fentanyl were lower in the DF group (total: mean difference = -69.3 µg; 95% CI, = -114.3 to -24.4; P = 0.003). No significant differences were found for adverse events, postoperative hospital stay, or satisfaction between the 2 groups. IMPLICATIONS: Although awake lumbar disc surgery can be performed successfully under sedation with either MF or DF combination, the latter may be a better alternative because of less consumption of opioid analgesics. ChiCTR.org identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-13003645.