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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 276-282

Controlled hypotension in day care functional endoscopic sinus surgery: A comparison between esmolol and dexmedetomidine: A prospective, double-blind, and randomized study

1 Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Murshidabad Medical College, Berhampore, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
A Das
174, Gorakshabashi Road, Royal Plaza Apartment (4th Floor, Flat No. 1), Nagerbazar, Kolkata - 700 028, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Read associated Notice of Retraction: Retraction with this article

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.174919

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Date of Web Publication2-Jun-2016


Background: Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is the cornerstone of therapeutic management for nasal pathologies. This study is to compare the ability of preoperative and intraoperative esmolol versus dexmedetomidine for producing induced hypotension during FESS in adults in a day care setting.
Materials and Methods: Sixty patients (20-45 years) posted for FESS under general anesthesia were randomly divided into Group E (n = 30) receiving esmolol, loading dose 1 mg/kg over 1 min followed by 0.5 mg/kg/h infusion during maintenance and Group D (n = 30) receiving dexmedetomidine 1 μg/kg over 15 min before induction of anesthesia followed by 0.5 μg/Kg/h infusion during maintenance, respectively. Nasal bleeding and Surgeon's satisfaction score; amount and number of patients receiving fentanyl and nitroglycerine for analgesia and deliberate hypotension, Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and hospital stay; hemodynamic parameters and side effects were recorded for each patient.
Results: Significantly less number and dosage of nitroglycerine was required (P = 0.0032 and 0.0001, respectively) in Group D compared to that in Group E. Again the number and dosage of patients requiring fentanyl were significantly lower in Group D. However, the duration of controlled hypotension was almost similar in both the groups. Group D patients suffered from significantly less nasal bleeding, and surgeon's satisfaction score was also high in this group. Discharge from PACU and hospital were significantly earlier in Group D. Intraoperative hemodynamics were quite comparable (P > 0.05) without any appreciable side effects.
Conclusion: Dexmedetomidine found to be providing more effectively controlled hypotension and analgesia and thus allowing less nasal bleeding as well as more surgeons' satisfaction score.

Keywords: Ambulatory (day care); dexmedetomidine; esmolol; functional endoscopic sinus surgery; heart rate; mean arterial pressure

How to cite this article:
Das A, Chhaule S, Bhattacharya S, Basunia S R, Mitra T, Halder P S, Chattopadhyay S, Mandal S K. Controlled hypotension in day care functional endoscopic sinus surgery: A comparison between esmolol and dexmedetomidine: A prospective, double-blind, and randomized study. Saudi J Anaesth 2016;10:276-82

How to cite this URL:
Das A, Chhaule S, Bhattacharya S, Basunia S R, Mitra T, Halder P S, Chattopadhyay S, Mandal S K. Controlled hypotension in day care functional endoscopic sinus surgery: A comparison between esmolol and dexmedetomidine: A prospective, double-blind, and randomized study. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Jan 31];10:276-82. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is a highly sophisticated type of surgery, which has revolutionized the surgical management of acute and chronic sinus pathologies when conservative management has failed. [1] During FESS under general anesthesia (GA), bleeding impairs the visibility of surgical field and increases the operation risk and time. [2] Intraoperative bleeding may be reduced most effectively by induced systemic hypotension. There are several important advantages of using intentional hypotensive anesthetic technique during the functional endoscopic sinus surgeries such as reduction in blood loss hence reduction in blood transfusion rate, improvement in the surgical field, and reduction of the duration of surgery. In hypotensive anesthesia, the patient's baseline mean arterial pressure (MAP) is reduced by 30% or MAP was kept at 60-70 mm Hg. [3],[4]

For achieving controlled hypotension, several agents such as nitroglycerine, [5] higher dose of inhaled anesthetics, [6] and sodium nitroprusside, such as vasodilator, [7] β-blocker, [8] have been used either alone or in combination with each other; however, an ideal agent for inducing controlled hypotension cannot be asserted. The ideal agent used for controlled hypotension must have certain characteristics such as a short onset time, rapid elimination without toxic metabolites, easy to administer, an effect that disappears quickly when administration is discontinued, and dose-dependent predictable effects. [9]

In a very recent study, Suzuki et al. found that perioperative bleeding and transfusion requirement are major complications of FESS. [10] These complications frequently hamper the implementation of the surgery in an ambulatory care basis. Peroperative bleeding increases the duration of surgery and postoperative bleeding has a negative impact on patient's early discharge as well as it causes unanticipated hospital admission, particularly in a day care setting. [11]

Esmolol is a selective β1 -adrenoreceptor antagonist involved in the control of heart rate (HR), contractility, and atrioventricular conduction. [12] Currently, the use of β-blockade for hemodynamic stability and cardiac protection is well accepted among anesthesia providers, [13] but recently, researchers have begun to explore the perioperative use of esmolol as an anesthetic adjunct. [14],[15] Esmolol was found to produce desired hypotension without tachycardia and improved surgical condition by reducing operative field bleeding. [16]

Dexmedetomidine is highly selective (eight times more selective than clonidine), [17] specific and potent α2 -adrenergic agonist having analgesic, sedative, antihypertensive, and anesthetic sparing effects when used in the systemic route. [18] Prior administration of dexmedetomidine can also provide a hypotensive anesthesia and a better surgical field and finally an abbreviated operative duration. [19],[20]

The aim and objective of this study were primarily to compare the efficacy for producing controlled hypotension by preoperative and peroperative intravenous (IV) dexmedetomidine and esmolol infusion during FESS in adults in an ambulatory care setting. The secondary goal was to compare the two agents in the regard of visibility of surgical field, satisfaction of the surgeons, recovery profile, adverse effects, and perioperative need for analgesia.

  Materials and Methods Top

After obtaining permission from institutional ethics committee, written informed consent was taken. A total of 60 adult patients were randomly allocated to two equal groups (n = 30 in each group) using computer generated random number list. Between 2010 January and 2010 December, patients having ASA physical Status I and II, aged between 20 and 45 years of both sexes undergoing FESS under GA were enrolled in the study. Patients in Group D received dexmedetomidine (dextomid [100 mcg/ml], Neon Laboratories Ltd., India) 1 μg/Kg over 15 min before induction of anesthesia followed by 0.5 μg/Kg/h infusion during maintenance. Patients in Group E received esmolol (Neotach [100 mg/10 ml vial] Neon Laboratories Ltd, India) with loading dose 1 mg/kg was infused over one min followed by 0.5 mg/kg/h infusion during maintenance. Both esmolol and dexmedetomidine were diluted in 50 ml normal saline. Both study drugs were diluted in an equal amount of normal saline in syringe pumps for blinding purpose. The study participants, operation nurse, and the ENT surgeon constituted the "blind" study group. The anesthesiologist performing the GA was unaware of the constituent of the drug fitted with syringe pump and allotment of the group and similarly resident doctors keeping records of different parameters were also unaware of group allotment. Thus, the blinding was properly maintained.

For topical vasoconstriction and local anesthesia, 1/1000 epinephrine soaked cotton was placed in the nasal cavity for 5 min. A solution containing (2%) 20 mg/mL lignocaine hydrochloride + 0.01 mg/mL epinephrine (Ligno-Ad, Kopran Laboratories Ltd., India) was applied to the nasal side of both the medial and lateral conchae at the same dose.

Exclusion criteria

Patient refusal, any known hypersensitivity or contraindication to esmolol, dexmedetomidine, nitroglycerine, fentanyl; pregnancy, lactating mothers, hepatic, renal or cardiopulmonary abnormality, alcoholism, diabetes, patients on calcium channel blockers, bleeding diathesis were excluded from the study. Patients having a history of significant neurological, psychiatric, or neuromuscular disorders were also excluded. Bilateral ethmoidal polyp, bilateral extensive sinusitis, orbital abscess, CSF leak with or without CSF rhinorrhea, pediatric age group patients, and orbital decompression surgery all were also excluded. As we were dealing with day care surgery, the patients having no assistance in home and dwelling at more than 10 km from our institution were also excluded from this study.

In preoperative assessment, the patients were enquired about any history of drug allergy, previous operations, or prolonged drug treatment. General examination, systemic examinations and assessment of the airway were done. Preoperative fasting of minimum 6 h was ensured before operation in all day care cases. All patients received premedication of tablet alprazolam 0.5 mg orally the night before surgery as per preanesthetic check-up direction to allay anxiety, apprehension, and for sound sleep. The patients also received tablet ranitidine 150 mg in the previous night and in the morning of operation with sips of water. All patients were investigated for routine investigations. Perioperatively, standard monitors were attached and pulse rate, respiratory rate, arterial oxygen saturation, ECG, capnography, systolic, diastolic, and MAP were monitored continuously. Philips Intelleview (MP20) monitor used for this purpose. Intravenous infusion of Ringers' lactate started 2 h before operation. After receiving premedication in the form of esmolol and dexmedetomidine all patients were preoxygenated with 100% oxygen for a period of 5 min. Injection fentanyl (2 μg/kg) and glycopyrrolate (0.01 mg/kg) were given intravenously 3 min before induction of anesthesia. All patients were induced with injection propofol (2 mg/kg). After that atracurium (0.5 mg/kg) was given to facilitate laryngoscopy and intubation. Muscle relaxation was maintained with intermittent intravenous atracurium (0.2 mg/kg) as and when required. Controlled ventilation was maintained manually with 33% oxygen in 66% nitrous oxide and isoflurane up to 1-2 MAC using Boyle's apparatus to achieve a target bispectral index (BIS) between 40 and 60 and end-tidal CO 2 pressure (ET CO2 ) between 32 and 40 mmHg.

At the completion of surgery, residual neuromuscular blockade was antagonized at TOF ratio more than 0.7 with neostigmine 0.05 mg/kg and glycopyrrolate 0.01 mg/kg intravenously, and the patient was extubated when BIS ≥70. After extubation, all patients were transferred to Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU). All patients were clinically examined in the preoperative period, when the whole procedure was explained.

When peroperative MAP was ≥70 mm of Hg, 50 μg nitroglycerine was applied; again when MAP was ≤55 mm Hg, 5 mg of mephentermine was applied. When HR was ≤50, 0.6 mg IV atropine was applied to combat bradycardia. The presence of hypertension or tachycardia during anesthesia, while BIS was 40-60, was attributed to insufficient analgesia and a bolus dose of fentanyl 1 μg/kg was given.

The time for PACU stay (admission-discharge from PACU) and hospital discharge (eye opening-discharge from hospital), the incidence of adverse events (shivering, bradycardia [HR <60 bpm], and hypotension [SBP< 100 mm Hg], nausea, vomiting) were also recorded. The patients were considered ready for discharge from the PACU when the modified Aldrete postanesthesia score was ≥9. Patients were transferred to ward after being discharged from PACU. For nausea and vomiting, ondansetron 0.15 mg/kg IV was administered. All patients were operated by the same surgeon, and surgical site was rated according to a 6-point scale every 5 min by him in terms of bleeding and dryness [Table 1]. Surgeon's satisfaction was scored by the same surgeon with a 4-point scale [Table 1].
Table 1: Surgical bleeding score and surgeon satisfaction score

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Statistical analysis

Sample size was based on a crossover pilot study of 10 patients and was selected to detect a 40% reduction in the requirements of additional hypotensive agent nitroglycerine to achieve the target MAP (60-70 mm Hg) with a power of 80% and (α error = 0.05, β error = 0.2), the sample size calculated was 54 patients (27/group) to be able to reject the null hypothesis which will be increased to 60 patients (30/group) for possible dropouts. Raw data were entered into a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet and analyzed using standard statistical software SPSS ® Statistical Package Version 18.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Categorical variables were analyzed using the Pearson's Chi-square test. Fisher's exact test was used in the comparison of bradycardia, hypotension, vomiting, shivering, and the number of patients requiring fentanyl and nitroglycerine administration. Normally, distributed continuous variables were analyzed using the independent sample t-test and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

  Results and Analysis Top

We recruited 30 subjects per group more than the calculated sample size. There were no dropouts. Thirty patients in the dexmedetomidine Group D and 30 in the esmolol Group E were eligible for effectiveness analysis.

The age, sex distribution, body weight, height, ASA status, preoperative hemoglobin, and packed cell volume were found to be comparable [Table 2]. Duration of surgery and anesthesia time in the two groups were also similar and had no clinical significance (P > 0.05) [Table 3]. Duration of controlled hypotension was more sustained but statistically insignificant in the Group E than D. PACU discharge (time to reach Aldrete score ≥9) time and hospital discharge time was significantly more prolonged in Group E than Group D [Table 3].
Table 2: Demographic profile and the preoperative hematologic status in both groups

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Table 3: Operative time and duration of controlled hypotension

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Number of patients treated with fentanyl and the mean dose of the drug was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the esmolol treated group than dexmedetomidine group [Table 4]. Again to ensure induced hypotension, dose of nitroglycerine, and the number of patients treated with the medicine was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in Group E than D [Table 4]. [Table 1] shows that nasal bleeding score was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in Group E than Group D [Table 1]. Again due to less bleeding and excellent operative condition, Surgeon's satisfaction score was significantly better (P < 0.05) in dexmedetomidine-treated group than esmolol group [Table 1]. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, shivering, bradycardia (both atropine required and nonrequired patients), and hypotension (both mephentermine required and nonrequired patients) were all comparable among two groups (P > 0.05) [Table 5]. MAP and HR among two groups were found to be quite comparable among two groups (P > 0.05) [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Intraoperative mean arterial pressure among two groups

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Figure 2: Intraoperative heart rate among two groups

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Table 4: Fentanyl and nitroglycerine for analgesia and controlled hypotension

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Table 5: Side effects

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  Discussion Top

Over the years, day care surgery has been proven as the best method to reduce the burden on the health care resources as well as achievement of extreme patient satisfaction. [21] In developing countries, most of the patients avoid bearing expenses of prolonged hospital stay. In the day care scenario, hemorrhage in the immediate postoperative period is the most common cause of delayed recovery and discharge after ambulatory surgery and most frequent (even extending up to 8.8%) cause of unplanned readmission and subsequently delayed return to work. [22],[23]

FESS is usually done for the treatment of patients with acute as well as chronic sinonasal disease who do not respond to the conventional medical treatment. Good visibility during FESS is necessary because of nasal tiny anatomical structures, which are full of vessels, limit the nasal endoscopic access. In such situation, even a minor bleeding can lead the surgical procedure left unfinished. [24]

A lot of efforts have been done to optimize the surgical conditions for FESS. Controlled hypotension has been widely advocated to control bleeding during FESS to improve the quality of surgical field. [25]

In this study, we had chosen a target MAP 60-70 mm Hg to provide the best surgical conditions without the risk of tissue hypo-perfusion depending on a review of the literature conducted by Barak et al. with a MAP of 50-65 mm Hg during major maxillofacial surgeries. [26] Boezaart et al. demonstrated hypotensive anesthesia induced by sodium nitroprusside or nitroglycerine in mandibular osteotomy to achieve MAP 60-70 mm Hg and found to be absolutely safe and associated with no significant increase in pyruvate, lactate, or glucose levels. [27]

Esmolol: A β1 -adrenoreceptor antagonist have been used for frequent premedication in adults for hemodynamic stability and cardioprotection. [12] Shen et al. in a placebo-controlled trial found that esmolol not only produces relative hypotension and bradycardia but also significantly improves the surgical field and reduces the average blood loss. [28] Another study by Celebi et al. demonstrated that intravenous infusion of esmolol reduced the intraoperative and postoperative analgesic consumption and subsequently reduced the visual analog scale scores. [29] However, dexmedetomidine is a more highly specific α2 -adrenoreceptor agonist (α21 = 1620/1) than clonidine (α21 = 220/1), has been approved by Food and Drug Administration as a short-term sedative for mechanically ventilated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. [18] Guven et al. in their study on FESS with preoperative dexmedetomidine found that lower HR and MAP had resulted in a much lower bleeding scores, visual analog scale (VAS) score and shorter operative time when compared with a placebo group. [30]

Unfortunately, no sufficient clinical trials studied the effectiveness of comparing α2 -agonist and β1 -adrenoreceptor antagonist infusion and combining it with vasodilator nitroglycerine infusion in producing controlled hypotensive anesthesia.

In this prospective, randomized, double-blinded trial, we had compared the efficacy of preoperative IV infusion of dexmedetomidine (1 μg/Kg over 15 min before induction of anesthesia followed by 0.5 μg/Kg/h infusion during maintenance) versus esmolol (loading dose 1 mg/kg was infused over one min followed by 0.5 mg/kg/h infusion during maintenance) for producing controlled hypotension as well as on visibility of surgical field, satisfaction of the surgeon, postoperative need for analgesia (fentanyl requirement), and recovery profile for the patients undergoing FESS in an ambulatory care setting.

The demographic profile between two groups that was statistically insignificant (P > 0.05) of our patients was quite similar with other research investigations and provided us the uniform platform to evenly compare the results obtained. [31]

From [Table 3], it is quite evident that durations of surgery and anesthesia were quite comparable among the two groups in our study. These results were very similar to the study with same two drugs and a control group conducted by Ibraheim et al. for the patients undergoing scoliosis surgery. [31] In our study, PACU recovery (time to reach Aldrete score ≥9) and hospital discharge were significantly earlier in dexmedetomidine group than clonidine. However, on the contrary, Kol et al. found that in esmolol group recovery from anesthesia were significantly shorter than those of the dexmedetomidine group. [32]

In our study, duration of controlled hypotension was prolonged in Group E than D but the difference was clinically insignificant. However, Ibraheim et al. found that dexmedetomidine produced more sustained as well as profound hypotension than esmolol. [31]

We have found fentanyl requirement both in terms of number and the total dosage of the drug was significantly less in the dexmedetomidine-treated group than esmolol. Similarly, analgesic consumption as fentanyl requirement was significantly lower in dexmedetomidine-treated group, were also observed in two different studies by Kol et al.[32] and Ibraheim et al.[31] with P = 0.002 and 0.001, respectively.

In our study, nitroglycerine dose and the number of patients treated with it was significantly less in dexmedetomidine premedicated group while compared with esmolol. Bayram et al. also found similar results in favor of dexmedetomidine while conducting a comparative study with magnesium sulfate to produce controlled hypotension in FESS. [33]

Guven et al. in a placebo-controlled clinical trial found that dexmedetomidine continuous infusion had significantly reduced the bleeding score and improved the visibility in FESS. [30] On the other hand, Srivastava et al. found that esmolol reduced the bleeding in FESS significantly when compared with nitroglycerine infusion group. [16] Here, in our study, we have found that Group D patients suffered from less bleeding when compared with Group E. This is probably due to the combination of hypotensive and negative chronotropic property of dexmedetomidine is more balanced than esmolol as evidenced from [Table 4].

In our study, nausea, vomiting, shivering, bradycardia (both atropine required and nonrequired patients), and hypotension (both mephentermine required and nonrequired patients) all was comparable among two groups. Similar results were observed by Bayram et al. while doing a study between dexmedetomidine versus magnesium sulfate for producing controlled hypotension for the patients undergoing FESS. [33]

There were some limitations of our study that need discussion. One of the limitations of the current study is the absence of a placebo-controlled group. Though it was initially planned, but later was rejected by the Hospital Ethics Committee. Second, we did not use a score for assessing the postoperative pain; however, the FESS is usually followed headache sensation rather than pain and it was managed successfully by IV fentanyl. We had not measured sedation score, VAS score, and plasma catecholamine or stress hormone concentrations which may reveal relations between sympatholytic properties of α2 -agonist, β1 -adrenoreceptor antagonist and earlier discharge after their use. Another limitation is that we compared esmolol and dexmedetomidine based on their known optimal as well as safe premedicating doses for day care setting without the knowledge of their equipotent doses. However, a larger study with large sample size needs to be conducted to establish the author's point of view with solidarity.

We do conclude that during ambulatory FESS, preinduction dexmedetomidine (at 1 μg/Kg over 15 min followed by 0.5 μg/Kg/h infusion during maintenance) is more effective than preinduction esmolol (at 1 mg/kg over 1 min followed by 0.5 mg/kg/h infusion during maintenance) for providing controlled hypotension and analgesia with smaller need of an additional hypotensive agent nitroglycerin and fentanyl, respectively. It also renders an excellent surgical field with higher surgeon's satisfaction score and lesser analgesic requirement without major hemodynamic alteration and side effects.

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Conflicts of interest

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]

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