Effects of Oral Clonidine Premedication on Plasma Glucose and Lipid Homeostasis Associated with Exogenous Glucose Infusion in Children

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Oral clonidine may influence plasma glucose and lipid homeostasis by modulating endocrinologic responses to surgical stress. The effect of oral clonidine premedication on plasma glucose and lipid homeostasis associated with exogenous glucose infusion were investigated in children undergoing minor surgery.


Otherwise healthy children (n, 120; aged 3–13 yr) were assigned randomly to six groups according to the glucose concentration of the intravenous solution (0%, 2%, or 5%, at a rate of 6 ml [center dot] kg sup -1 [center dot] h sup -1) and the preoperative medications (4 micro gram/kg clonidine or placebo given 100 min before anesthesia) they were to receive. The plasma concentrations of glucose, nonesterified fatty acid, ketone bodies, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol were determined.


Infusion of 5% glucose caused hyperglycemia (mean glucose concentration > 200 mg/dl) in six children receiving placebo and two receiving clonidine. Although the mean plasma glucose concentration increased in three placebo groups, it was unchanged and the plasma concentrations of total ketone bodies and nonesterified fatty acid were increased in children receiving clonidine and glucose-free solution. The plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol levels in children receiving placebo increased in response to surgery. Clonidine attenuated the increase in catecholamines and cortisol.


Oral clonidine premedication attenuated the hyperglycemic response, probably by inhibiting the surgical stress-induced release of catecholamines and cortisol. Infusion of 2% of glucose maintained plasma glucose concentrations within physiologic ranges in children receiving clonidine.

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