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Adverse cardiovascular effects of ketamine infusion in patients with catecholamine-dependent heart failure

Summary

The longterm effects of ketamine on haemodynamic parameters and exogenous catecholamine requirements were studied in twenty-five critically ill patients with catecholamine-dependent heart failure. Following sedation with midazolam (0.15 ± 0.07 mg.kg-1.h-1) and sufentanil (0.88 ± 0.33 µg.kg-1.h-1), patients with impaired left ventricular function (left ventricular ejection fraction area 30 ± 7%) were randomly assigned to receive ketamine (2.5 ± 0.9 mg.kg-1.h-1) and midazolam (Group A) or remained on sufentanil/midazolam (Group B). Haemodynamic measurements were performed throughout the first 24 hours after randomization. In group A cardiac index decreased by 21% (P =0.01), mean arterial pressure increased by 13% (P =0.01), mean pulmonary artery pressure by 14% (P =0.04), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure by 20% (P =0.03), and systemic vascular resistance index by 38% (P <0.001). No significant cardiovascular effects were observed in Group B. Neither group had significant changes of exogenous catecholamine requirement. In conclusion, ketamine exhibits potential negative cardiovascular effects in patients with catecholamine-dependent heart failure. Therefore, ketamine should not be considered a first line drug for longterm sedation of patients with impaired left ventricular function.

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