Analgesia-Sedation in PICU and Neurological Outcome: A Secondary Analysis of Long-Term Neuropsychological Follow-Up in Meningococcal Septic Shock Survivors

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Objectives: To investigate whether analgesic and sedative drug use during PICU treatment is associated with long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in children who survived meningococcal septic shock. Design: This study concerned a secondary analysis of data from medical and psychological follow-up of a cross-sectional cohort of all consecutive surviving patients with septic shock and purpura requiring intensive care treatment between 1988 and 2001 at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital. At least 4 years after PICU admission, these children showed impairments on several domains of neuropsychological functioning. In the present study, type, number, and dose of sedatives and analgesics were retrospectively evaluated. Setting: Tertiary care university hospital. Patients: Seventy-seven meningococcal septic shock survivors (median age, 2.1 yr). Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Forty-five patients (58%) received one or more analgesic and/or sedative drugs during PICU admission, most commonly benzodiazepines (n = 39; 51%), followed by opioids (n = 23; 30%). In total, 12 different kinds of analgesic or sedative drugs were given. The use and dose of opioids were significantly associated with poor test outcome on full-scale intelligence quotient (p = 0.02; Z = -2.28), verbal intelligence quotient (p = 0.02; Z = -2.32), verbal intelligence quotient subtests (verbal comprehension [p = 0.01; Z = -2.56] and vocabulary [p = 0.01; Z = -2.45]), and visual attention/executive functioning (Trial Making Test part B) (p = 0.03; Z = -2.17). In multivariate analysis adjusting for patient and disease characteristics, the use of opioids remained significant on most neuropsychological tests. Conclusions: The use of opioids during PICU admission was significantly associated with long-term adverse neuropsychological outcome independent of severity of illness scores in meningococcal septic shock survivors.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-53-01-A
  • EMC NIHES-04-55-01
  • EMC OR-02-54-06

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