Introduction: Postoperative delirium is common in older cardiac surgery patients and associated with negative short-term and long-term outcomes. The alpha-2-adrenergic receptor agonist dexmedetomidine shows promise as prophylaxis and treatment for delirium in intensive care units (ICU) and postoperative settings. Clonidine has similar pharmacological properties and can be administered both parenterally and orally. We aim to study whether repurposing of clonidine can represent a novel treatment option for delirium, and the possible effects of dexmedetomidine and clonidine on long-term cognitive trajectories, motor activity patterns and biomarkers of neuronal injury, and whether these effects are associated with frailty status.
Methods and analysis: This five-centre, double-blind randomised controlled trial will include 900 cardiac surgery patients aged 70+ years. Participants will be randomised 1:1:1 to dexmedetomidine or clonidine or placebo. The study drug will be given as a continuous intravenous infusion from the start of cardiopulmonary bypass, at a rate of 0.4 µg/kg/hour. The infusion rate will be decreased to 0.2 µg/kg/hour postoperatively and be continued until discharge from the ICU or 24 hours postoperatively, whichever happens first.Primary end point is the 7-day cumulative incidence of postoperative delirium (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition). Secondary end points include the composite end point of coma, delirium or death, in addition to delirium severity and motor activity patterns, levels of circulating biomarkers of neuronal injury, cognitive function and frailty status 1 and 6 months after surgery.Tilgang til artikkelen