Dexmedetomidine preserves attention/calculation when used for cooperative and short-term intensive care unit sedation

Haley E. Goodwin, Randeep S. Gill, Peter N. Murakami, Carol B. Thompson, John J. Lewin, Marek A. Mirski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: Differential effects on cognition were recently demonstrated between dexmedetomidine (DEX) and propofol (PRO) when used for cooperative sedation. Propofol was found to reduce cognition, whereas DEX improved cognition. To further discriminate these effects, we evaluated the effect of PRO vs DEX in selected areas of cognition. Methods: This is a post hoc analysis of the Acute Neurologic Intensive Care Unit Sedation Trial and an investigator-initiated, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, crossover study, comparing the effect of PRO and DEX on cognition measure by the Johns Hopkins Adapted Cognitive Exam (ACE). A linear model analysis accounting for within-patient correlation of measures was used to estimate differences in ACE subscales between drugs. Results: Propofol diminished adjusted scores on all ACE subscales ( P < .05), whereas DEX improved adjusted scores selectively for attention/calculation (3.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.49-5.61; P < .01). The positive and significant difference in ACE scores between agents was present across subscales. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that DEX improved ACE attention/calculation subscale in awake patients receiving cooperative sedation. This is in contrast to the deterioration in all mean ACE subscale scores observed using PRO, suggesting DEX preserved cognitive function with specific preservation of focus and attention and allows for greater cognition compared with PRO across all cognitive domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113.e7-1113.e10
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Cognition
  • Critical care
  • Delirium
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Propofol
  • Sedatives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Dexmedetomidine preserves attention/calculation when used for cooperative and short-term intensive care unit sedation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this