Investigating the pharmacodynamics of ketamine in children

Herd, David W., Anderson, Brian J., Keene, Natalie A. and Holford, Nicholas H. G. (2008) Investigating the pharmacodynamics of ketamine in children. Paediatric Anaesthesia, 18 1: 36-42. doi:10.1111/j.1460-9592.2007.02384.x

Author Herd, David W.
Anderson, Brian J.
Keene, Natalie A.
Holford, Nicholas H. G.
Title Investigating the pharmacodynamics of ketamine in children
Journal name Paediatric Anaesthesia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1155-5645
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2007.02384.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 18
Issue 1
Start page 36
End page 42
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background:  The aim of this study was to describe ketamine pharmacodynamics (PD) in children. Adult ketamine concentrations during recovery are reported as 0.74 mg·l−1 (sd 0.24 mg·l−1) with an EC50 for anesthesia of 2 mg·l−1 (sd 0.5 mg·l−1), but pediatric data are few.

Methods:  Children presenting for painful procedures in an Emergency Department were given ketamine 1–1.5 mg·kg−1 i.v. Blood was assayed for ketamine on three to six occasions (median 3) over the subsequent 14–152 min (median 28.5). Procedures were videotaped. Level of sedation (0–5; unresponsive – spontaneously awake without stimulus) and a test of memory were recorded. PD was investigated using a variable slope Emax model (sedation) or logistic regression (arousal time, memory) with nonlinear mixed effects models.

Results:  In total 60 children were enrolled. Pharmacokinetic data were collected in 54 of these children and there were 43 children available for PD study. The mean age was 8.15 years (sd 3.5 years) and weight was 34.9 kg (sd 15.8 kg). The half-time describing equilibration between the effect compartment and central compartment was 11 s (95% CI 0.07–20 s). The EC50 for arousal was 0.52 (90% CI 0.22–1.17) mg·l−1. The Emax model with a baseline (E0) of five (spontaneously awake without stimulus) yielded a fractional Emax 0.939 [coefficient of variability (CV) 24%], an EC50 0.56 (CV 136%) mg·l−1 and a Hill coefficient 3.71. The EC50 for recall memory was 0.44 (90% CI 0.09–1.70) mg·l−1. The EC50 for remembering was 0.38 (90% CI 0.12–1.75) mg·l−1.

Conclusions:  Concentrations associated with arousal in children are analogous to adults. The ability to recall and remember occurs at similar concentrations to those associated with arousal. A concentration of 1 mg·l−1 was associated with a sedation level of three or less (arouses to consciousness with moderate tactile or loud verbal stimulus) in 95% of children while 1.5 mg·l−1 was associated with a sedation level of two or less (rouses slowly to consciousness with sustained painful stimulus) in 95% of children. These concentrations can be attained for 3–4 min after 1 mg·kg−1 and 1.5 mg·kg−1 ketamine IV bolus, respectively. The mean arousal time can be anticipated at approximately 10 min (1 mg·kg−1) and 15 min (1.5 mg·kg−1).
Keyword Ketamine
Procedural sedation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Mater Research Institute-UQ (MRI-UQ)
School of Medicine Publications
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