• Anesthesiology · Jun 2019

    Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study

    Intravenous Lidocaine Does Not Improve Neurologic Outcomes after Cardiac Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Intravenous lidocaine infusions for 48 hours perioperatively do not reduce postoperative cognitive decline up to 1 year after cardiac surgery.

    • Rebecca Y Klinger, Mary Cooter, Tiffany Bisanar, Niccolò Terrando, Miles Berger, Mihai V Podgoreanu, Mark Stafford-Smith, Mark F Newman, Joseph P Mathew, and Neurologic Outcomes Research Group of the Duke Heart Center.
    • From the Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (R.Y.K., M.C., T.B., N.T., M.B., M.V.P., M.S.-S., J.P.M.) the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky (M.F.N.).
    • Anesthesiology. 2019 Jun 1; 130 (6): 958-970.

    BackgroundCognitive decline after cardiac surgery occurs frequently and persists in a significant proportion of patients. Preclinical studies and human trials suggest that intravenous lidocaine may confer protection in the setting of neurologic injury. It was hypothesized that lidocaine administration would reduce cognitive decline after cardiac surgery compared to placebo.MethodsAfter institutional review board approval, 478 patients undergoing cardiac surgery were enrolled into this multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel group trial. Subjects were randomized to lidocaine 1 mg/kg bolus after the induction of anesthesia followed by a continuous infusion (48 μg · kg · min for the first hour, 24 μg · kg · min for the second hour, and 10 μg · kg · min for the next 46 h) or saline with identical volume and rate changes to preserve blinding. Cognitive function was assessed preoperatively and at 6 weeks and 1 yr postoperatively using a standard neurocognitive test battery. The primary outcome was change in cognitive function between baseline and 6 weeks postoperatively, adjusting for age, years of education, baseline cognition, race, and procedure type.ResultsAmong the 420 allocated subjects who returned for 6-week follow-up (lidocaine: N = 211; placebo: N = 209), there was no difference in the continuous cognitive score change (adjusted mean difference [95% CI], 0.02 (-0.05, 0.08); P = 0.626). Cognitive deficit (greater than 1 SD decline in at least one cognitive domain) at 6 weeks occurred in 41% (87 of 211) in the lidocaine group versus 40% (83 of 209) in the placebo group (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI], 0.94 [0.63, 1.41]; P = 0.766). There were no differences in any quality of life outcomes between treatment groups. At the 1-yr follow-up, there continued to be no difference in cognitive score change, cognitive deficit, or quality of life.ConclusionsIntravenous lidocaine administered during and after cardiac surgery did not reduce postoperative cognitive decline at 6 weeks.

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    Intravenous lidocaine infusions for 48 hours perioperatively do not reduce postoperative cognitive decline up to 1 year after cardiac surgery.

    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley

    Why is this interesting?

    Lidocaine/lignocaine has been increasingly used intra- and perioperatively as an analgesic adjunct, with further research suggesting a potential neuroprotective effect. Cognitive decline is a common problem following cardiac surgery (40-50%), with lidocaine potentially offering a simple and safe intervention to reduce this complication. Past studies have showed conflicting results.

    What did they do?

    This Duke University team randomized 478 cardiac surgery patients across multiple centres to lidocaine intraoperatively (1 mg/kg bolus then decreasing infusions across 2.9 / 1.5 / 0.6 mg/kg/h over 48 hours) or blinded control. Cognitive function was assessed at 6 weeks and 1 year.

    They found...

    No difference in cognitive deficit between lidocaine infusion and saline control at either 6 weeks or 1 year.

    Be smart

    Intravenous lidocaine infusion remains relatively safe, practical and is still likely a useful analgesic adjunct. Similar to magnesium, which has been shown to be neuroprotective in premature infants but not adult cardiac patients, the problem for lidocaine may well be context rather than physiological benefit itself.

    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley
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