Adenosine-induced flow arrest to facilitate intracranial aneurysm clip ligation: Dose-response data and safety profile

John F. Bebawy, Dhanesh K. Gupta, Bernard R. Bendok, Laura B. Hemmer, Carine Zeeni, Michael J. Avram, H. Hunt Batjer, Antoun Koht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Background: Adenosine-induced transient flow arrest has been used to facilitate clip ligation of intracranial aneurysms. However, the starting dose that is most likely to produce an adequate duration of profound hypotension remains unclear. We reviewed our experience to determine the dose-response relationship and apparent perioperative safety profile of adenosine in intracranial aneurysm patients. Methods: This case series describes 24 aneurysm clip ligation procedures performed under an anesthetic consisting of remifentanil, low-dose volatile anesthetic, and propofol in which adenosine was used. The report focuses on the doses administered; duration of systolic blood pressure <60 mm Hg (SBP<60 mm Hg); and any cardiovascular, neurologic, or pulmonary complications observed in the perioperative period. Results: A median dose of 0.34 mg/kg ideal body weight (range: 0.29-0.44 mg/kg) resulted in a SBP<60 mm Hg for a median of 57 seconds (range: 26-105 seconds). There was a linear relationship between the log-transformed dose of adenosine and the duration of a SBP<60 mm Hg (R 2 = 0.38). Two patients developed transient, hemodynamically stable atrial fibrillation, 2 had postoperative troponin levels >0.03 ng/mL without any evidence of cardiac dysfunction, and 3 had postoperative neurologic changes. Conclusions: For intracranial aneurysms in which temporary occlusion is impractical or difficult, adenosine is capable of providing brief periods of profound systemic hypotension with low perioperative morbidity. On the basis of these data, a dose of 0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg ideal body weight may be the recommended starting dose to achieve approximately 45 seconds of profound systemic hypotension during a remifentanil/low-dose volatile anesthetic with propofol induced burst suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1406-1411
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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