Intramuscular dexmedetomidine: An effective route of sedation preserves background activity for pediatric electroencephalograms

Keira P. Mason, Nina Lubisch, Fay Robinson, Rudolph Roskos, Mark A. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the efficacy and outcome of dexmedetomidine (Dex) via the intramuscular (IM) route for sedation for electroencephalography (EEG). Study design: Quality assurance data and EEG studies were reviewed for consecutive patients who received IM Dex for EEGs between August 2007 and September 2009. Sleep spindles, delta waves, and beta activity were evaluated to determine the deepest stage of sleep achieved. Results: One hundred seven consecutive children (age 0.2-17 years) between August 2007 and September 2009 received IM Dex (range 1.0-4.5 mcg/kg). The average time to achieve sedation was 15.5 minutes (range 3.0-55.0) with an average of 54.5 minutes to meet discharge criteria following EEG studies, which averaged 34.2 ± 22.6 minutes. The deepest stage of sleep recorded for each child was: awake (n = 1), stage N2 (n = 51), and stage N3 (n = 55). Excessive beta activity was seen in only 1 patient. Epileptiform activity was noted in 11 patients. Hemodynamic fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure were noted, none of which required pharmacologic intervention. All EEGs were successfully completed. Conclusion: We describe Stage 3 sleep and preserved background activity in response to Dex. We present the IM route as a new method, which preserves background EEG activity to provide safe and effective sedation for EEG studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-932.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Dex
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • EEG
  • Electroencephalography or electroencephalogram
  • IM
  • Intramuscular
  • Intravenous
  • IV
  • MAP
  • Mean arterial blood pressure
  • QA
  • Quality assurance
  • Ramsay Sedation Score
  • RSS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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