A randomised controlled trial of oral chloral hydrate vs. intranasal dexmedetomidine before computerised tomography in children.Anaesthesia 2017; 72(10):1191-1195A
Chloral hydrate is commonly used to sedate children for painless procedures. Children may recover more quickly after sedation with dexmedetomidine, which has a shorter half-life. We randomly allocated 196 children to chloral hydrate syrup 50 mg.kg-1 and intranasal saline spray, or placebo syrup and intranasal dexmedetomidine spray 3 μg.kg-1 , 30 min before computerised tomography studies. More children resisted or cried after drinking chloral hydrate syrup than placebo syrup, 72 of 107 (67%) vs. 42 of 87 (48%), p = 0.009, but there was no difference after intranasal saline vs. dexmedetomidine, 49 of 107 (46%) vs. 40 of 87 (46%), p = 0.98. Sedation was satisfactory in 81 of 107 (76%) children after chloral hydrate and 64 of 87 (74%) children after dexmedetomidine, p = 0.74. Of the 173 children followed up for at least 4 h after discharge, 38 of 97 (39%) had recovered normal function after chloral hydrate and 32 of 76 (42%) after dexmedetomidine, p = 0.76. Six children vomited after chloral hydrate syrup and placebo spray vs. none after placebo syrup and dexmedetomidine spray, p = 0.03.