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Nashville, Tennessee 37232


Major lumbar spine surgery causes inflammation, soreness and swelling that can delay discharge from the hospital. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This study will evaluate whether DEX can help get patients out of the hospital faster after major spine surgery by reducing the inflammation associated with the procedure itself. A separate part of the study will evaluate the blood levels of some specific indicators of inflammation called cytokines. Measuring cytokines before and after surgery will aid in determining if DEX has altered the inflammatory response.

Study summary:

Inflammation is a two-edged sword, one edge essential for healing, the other potentially delaying recovery. There is evidence that modest attenuation of the initial course of the inflammatory response (IR) - essentially "banking the fire" of the early IR - may be of benefit in shortening overall hospital course. Several medications have been evaluated/utilized intra- and perioperatively to modulate different components of IR, including local anesthetics, steroids and non-steroidal drugs. Additionally, the pro-and anti-inflammatory properties of various alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonists and antagonists have been characterized. Of this last category, dexmedetomidine (DEX), a highly specific ligand for all the subtypes of the alpha-2 receptor throughout the body, has substantial potency for sedation, analgesia and a reduction in the stress response in a wide variety of surgical environments as well as contributing to cardiovascular stability during Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) and open craniotomy. Additionally, DEX has been shown to have quite powerful anti-inflammatory activity in a murine endotoxin model. DEX's anti-inflammatory activity is likely expressed at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) - either conformationally similar to, or the actual "native" alpha-2 receptor - on polymorphonuclear leukocytes, tissue macrophages, mast cells and other immune system cells. Through these receptors, DEX may attenuate the early phase of IR by limiting immune signaling or release of inflammatory cytokines, potentially favorably limiting the body's IR to injury. In this present study, our primary assumption is that an ordinarily exuberant IR would be invoked by major spine fusion surgery. Continuous administration of intravenous DEX during and immediately after surgery might sufficiently modulate the IR to shorten hospital stay. Therefore, in a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double blinded fashion, we plan to evaluate the potential for a perioperative infusion of DEX to reduce "time-to-fitness-for-discharge" (generally easier to mark and a more accurate surrogate of time-to-discharge) in patients undergoing major 3+ level lumbar spinal fusion procedures. Additionally, cytokine markers, pain scores and additional pain medication requirements associated with surgery will be measured.


Inclusion Criteria: - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Classification I - III - Scheduled for Open Posterior Lumbar Fusion over 3+ (bony) levels Exclusion Criteria: - Allergy to dexmedetomidine - Cardiac disease with reduced ejection fraction < 30% - History of cirrhosis, active hepatitis or attenuated hepatic function - Chronic use of steroids, COX-2 inhibitors, alpha-2 agonists, or statins - Current anticoagulant therapy - Patients requiring motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring - Positive pregnancy test



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
James L Blair, DO
Vanderbilt University

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Nashville, Tennessee 37232
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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