Dexmedetomidine-based intravenous anesthesia of a pediatric patient with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: A case report

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Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzyme defect, resulting in deficits in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate production, an important intracellular antioxidant enzyme. G6PD-deficient subjects present with a susceptibility of erythrocytes to oxidative stress and hemolysis, and should avoid drugs or stressors that have oxidative actions. Dexmedetomidine is an anesthetic agent with antioxidant actions.

Patient concerns and diagnoses:

A 5-year-old boy with G6PD deficiency. The patient was diagnosed with G6PD deficiency at birth. His red blood cell levels were indicating Class II G6PD activity by the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, but had no history of hemolytic anemia.


Because of the patient's anxiety and hyperactivity prior to an operation for upper labial frenum resection, we performed perioperative management using intravenous sedation with dexmedetomidine, which provides upper airway patency and has an antioxidant action.


There was no abnormal breathing observed during anesthesia, and arousal was smooth with stable hemodynamics. The patient had no symptoms of hemolytic anemia up to 1 week postsurgery.


Antioxidant sedatives such as dexmedetomidine may be useful for reducing the risk of hemolysis after surgery in infant G6PD deficiency cases.

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