It is uncertain whether dexmedetomidine is better than propofol for sedation in postcardiac surgery patients. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the effects of dexmedetomidine and propofol sedation on outcomes in adult patients after cardiac surgery.Methods:
Randomized controlled trials comparing outcomes in cardiac surgery patients sedated with dexmedetomidine or propofol were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and Clinicaltrials.Gov until May 23, 2016.Results:
A total of 969 patients in 8 studies met the selection criteria. The results revealed that dexmedetomidine was associated with a lower risk of delirium (risk ratio, 0.40;95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24-0.64; P = .0002), a shorter length of intubation (hours; mean difference, −0.95; 95% CI, −1.26 to −0.64; P < .00001), but a higher incidence of bradycardia (risk ratio 3.17; 95% CI, 1.41-7.10; P = .005) as compared to propofol. There were no statistical differences in the incidence of hypotension or atrial fibrillation, or the length of intensive care unit stay between dexmedetomidine and propofol sedation regimens.Conclusions:
Dexmedetomidine sedation could reduce postoperative delirium and was associated with shorter length of intubation, but might increase bradycardia in patients after cardiac surgery compared with propofol.