Prevention of etomidate-induced myoclonus during anesthetic induction by pretreatment with dexmedetomidine

<div><p>Myoclonus induced by etomidate during induction of general anesthesia is undesirable. This study evaluated the effect of dexmedetomidine (DEX) pretreatment on the incidence and severity of etomidate-induced myoclonus. Ninety patients undergoing elective surgical procedures were randomly allocated to three groups (n=30 each) for intravenous administration of 10 mL isotonic saline (group I), 0.5 µg/kg DEX in 10 mL isotonic saline (group II), or 1.0 µg/kg DEX in 10 mL isotonic saline (group III) over 10 min. All groups subsequently received 0.3 mg/kg etomidate by intravenous push injection. The incidence and severity of myoclonus were recorded for 1 min after etomidate administration and the incidence of cardiovascular adverse events that occurred between the administration of the DEX infusion and 1 min after tracheal intubation was recorded. The incidence of myoclonus was significantly reduced in groups II and III (30.0 and 36.7%), compared with group I (63.3%). The incidence of severe sinus bradycardia was significantly increased in group III compared with group I (P<0.05), but there was no significant difference in heart rate in groups I and II. There were no significant differences in the incidence of low blood pressure among the 3 groups. Pretreatment with 0.5 and 1.0 µg/kg DEX significantly reduced the incidence of etomidate-induced myoclonus during anesthetic induction; however, 0.5 µg/kg DEX is recommended because it had fewer side effects.</p></div>