Dexmedetomidine may impair cognitive testing during endovascular embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations: A retrospective case report series

Maria A. Bustillo, Ronald M. Lazar, A. Donald Finck, Brian Fitzsimmons, Mitchell F. Berman, John Pile-Spellman, Eric J. Heyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


After the reported successful use of dexmedetomidine to sedate patients in the intensive care unit without respiratory depression, we began to use dexmedetomidine for interventional neuroradiologic procedures. We report on five patients who had dexmedetomidine administered for sedation during embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations. All patients were comfortably sedated and breathing spontaneously. However, although patients were awake and following simple commands 10 minutes after the discontinuation of the infusion of dexmedetomidine, they were nevertheless unable to undergo cognitive testing. They were still unable to undergo cognitive testing 45 minutes after the infusion was stopped. In contrast, 10 minutes after the discontinuation of the infusion of propofol, all patients were awake, alert, cooperative, and able to undergo cognitive testing without difficulty. In conclusion, on examination of five nonrandomly selected case records, we found that dexmedetomidine significantly prevented neurologic and cognitive testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-212
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Cerebral
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Human
  • Interventional neuroradiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this