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Perioperative dexmedetomidine for acute pain after abdominal surgery in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2016
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Mentioned by

7 tweeters
2 Facebook pages


48 Dimensions

Readers on

200 Mendeley
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Perioperative dexmedetomidine for acute pain after abdominal surgery in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010358.pub2
Pubmed ID

Luise Jessen Lundorf, Helene Korvenius Nedergaard, Ann Merete Møller


Acute postoperative pain is still an issue in patients undergoing abdominal surgery. Postoperative pain and side effects of analgesic treatment, in particular those of opioids, need to be minimized. Opioid-sparing analgesics, possibly including dexmedetomidine, seem a promising avenue by which to improve postoperative outcomes. Our primary aim was to determine the analgesic efficacy and opioid-sparing effect of perioperative dexmedetomidine for acute pain after abdominal surgery in adults.Secondary aims were to establish effects of dexmedetomidine on postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), gastrointestinal function and mobilization, together with the side effect profile of dexmedetomidine. We searched the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Web of Science and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and reference lists of articles to May 2014. We searched the Science Citation Index, ClinicalTrials.gov and Current Controlled Trials, and we contacted pharmaceutical companies to identify unpublished and ongoing studies. We applied no language restrictions. We reran the search in May 2015 and found nine studies of interest. We will deal with the studies of interest when we update the review. We included randomized, controlled trials of perioperative dexmedetomidine versus placebo or other drug during abdominal surgery in adults. Trials included one of the following outcomes: amount of 'rescue' opioid, postoperative pain, time to 'rescue' analgesia, participants requiring 'rescue' analgesia, postoperative sedation, PONV, time to first passage of flatus and stool or time to first out-of-bed mobilization. Two review authors independently screened the titles and abstracts for eligibility. We retrieved full trial reports if necessary, and we extracted relevant data from the included studies using a data collection form and assessed risk of bias. We resolved disagreements by discussion with the third review author. We sought additional information of relevance for risk of bias assessment or extraction of data by contacting study authors or, if necessary, co-authors from present or former studies. Our systematic review included seven studies with a total of 492 participants. We included 422 participants in our analysis. Thirteen studies are awaiting classification. For the comparison dexmedetomidine versus placebo (six studies, 402 participants), most studies found a reduction in 'rescue' opioid consumption in the first 24 hours after surgery, together with in general no clinically important differences in postoperative pain (visual analogue scale (VAS) 0 to 100 mm, where 0 = no pain and 100 = worst imaginable pain) in the first 24 hours after surgery - except for one study (80 participants) with a reduction in VAS pain at two hours after surgery in favour of dexmedetomidine, with a mean difference of -30.00 mm (95% confidence interval (CI) -38.25 to -21.75). As the result of substantial heterogeneity, pooling of data in statistical meta-analyses was not appropriate. The quality of evidence was very low for our primary outcomes because of imprecision of results and risk of bias. Regarding our secondary aims, evidence was too scant in general to allow robust conclusions, or the estimates too imprecise or of poor methodological quality. Regarding adverse effects, low quality data (one study, 80 participants) suggest that the proportion of participants with hypotension requiring intervention was slightly higher in the high-dose dexmedetomidine group with a risk ratio of 2.50 (95% CI 0.94 to 6.66), but lower doses of dexmedetomidine led to no differences compared with control. Evidence for the comparison dexmedetomidine versus fentanyl was insufficient to permit robust conclusions (one study, 20 participants). Dexmedetomidine, when administered perioperatively for acute pain after abdominal surgery in adults, seemed to have some opioid-sparing effect together with in general no important differences in postoperative pain when compared with placebo. However the quality of the evidence was very low as the result of imprecision, methodological limitations and substantial heterogeneity among the seven included studies. The clinical importance for patients is uncertain, in as much as the influence of dexmedetomidine on patient-important outcomes such as gastrointestinal function, mobilization and adverse effects could not be satisfactorily determined. All included studies were relatively small, and publication bias could not be ruled out. Applicability of evidence was limited to middle-aged participants who were relatively free of co-morbidity and were undergoing elective abdominal surgery. A potential bias was a considerable quantity of unobtainable data from studies with mixed surgery. To detect and investigate patient-important outcomes, larger studies with longer periods of follow-up are needed.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 200 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 199 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 41 21%
Student > Bachelor 24 12%
Student > Postgraduate 18 9%
Researcher 17 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 15 8%
Other 43 22%
Unknown 42 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 86 43%
Nursing and Health Professions 26 13%
Psychology 8 4%
Social Sciences 7 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 2%
Other 21 11%
Unknown 48 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 May 2018.
All research outputs
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Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Altmetric has tracked 12,968,481 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 74th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,419 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. This one is in the 41st percentile – i.e., 41% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 267,274 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 193 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 35th percentile – i.e., 35% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.