Effect of Dexmedetomidine on Cardiac Surgery-Associated Acute Kidney Injury: A Meta-Analysis With Trial Sequential Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Objective: Cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury (CS-AKI) is associated with high mortality rates. This study aimed to determine the effects of perioperative dexmedetomidine (DEX) administration on CS-AKI in adult patients. Design: A meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis of randomized controlled trials. Setting: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched up to March 11, 2019 for relevant articles. The study protocol was registered at the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration number: CRD42019128139). Participants: Adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Interventions: Dexmedetomidine compared with controls. Measurements and Main Results: Nine randomized controlled trials with a total of 1,308 patients were included. Use of DEX significantly reduced the incidence of CS-AKI (risk ratio = 0.60, 95% confidence interval = 0.41-0.87, p = 0.008, I2 = 30%), without significant publication bias. The trial sequential analysis result suggested that there was enough evidence for this outcome. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of the result. The improvement of CS-AKI was primarily significant in preoperative and/or intraoperative administration of DEX with or without postoperative continuation, patients with age ≥60 years, and studies with low risk of bias. The subgroup analysis did not show statistical differences. Dexmedetomidine use also was associated with less prolonged ventilation and lower incidences of pulmonary complications and delirium postoperatively. The level of evidence was high for the incidence of CS-AKI on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation profile. Conclusion: Perioperative DEX administration provided protective effects against CS-AKI, especially when initiated before and during surgery in elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • acute kidney injury
  • cardiac surgery
  • dexmedetomidine
  • meta-analysis
  • trial sequential analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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