Purpose

Ventilated pediatric patients are frequently over-sedated and the majority suffer from delirium, a form of acute brain dysfunction that is an independent predictor of increased risk of dying, length of stay, and costs. Universally prescribed sedative medications-the GABA-ergic benzodiazepines-worsen this brain organ dysfunction and independently prolong duration of ventilation and ICU stay, and the available alternative sedation regimen using dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, has been shown to be superior to benzodiazepines in adults, and may mechanistically impact outcomes through positive effects on innate immunity, bacterial clearance, apoptosis, cognition and delirium. The mini-MENDS trial will compare dexmedetomidine and midazolam, and determine the best sedative medication to reduce delirium and improve duration of ventilation, and functional, psychiatric, and cognitive recovery in our most vulnerable patients-survivors of pediatric critical illness.

Conditions

Eligibility

Eligible Ages
Between 6 Months and 11 Years
Eligible Genders
All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers
No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients will be eligible for enrollment if they are 1) aged ≥ 6 months and < 11 years, 2) admitted to the pediatric ICU at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt (MCJCHV), and 3) on mechanical ventilation (MV) requiring sedation. Pre-pubescent children (<11 years) are typically different from older children who often behave physiologically more similar to adults. Pre-pubescent children are more likely to be admitted to the PICU and are undergoing a steeper curve of neurocognitive maturation. Therefore, these patients may be at greatest risk for worse brain dysfunction.

Exclusion Criteria

Patients will be excluded (i.e., not approached for consent) if any one is present: 1. Receiving continuous sedation for > 48 hours prior to screening 2. Rapidly resolving respiratory failure at screening, with planned immediate liberation from MV. 3. Severe developmental delay at baseline defined as a score of ≥ 4 (severe disability) on the Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) Scale, referencing cognitive status prior to critical illness. 4. Clinically significant 2nd or 3rd degree heart block or bradycardia < 60 beats per minute. 5. Benzodiazepine dependency with ongoing medical requirement of continuous benzodiazepine (infusion). 6. Inability to co-enroll with another study. 7. Expected death or care plan for withdrawal of support measures within 24 hours of enrollment. 8. Bilateral vision loss. 9. Inability to understand English or deafness that will preclude delirium evaluation. The inability to understand English in verbal participants will not result in exclusion when the research staff is proficient and/or translation services are actively available in that particular language. 10. Documented allergy to either dexmedetomidine or midazolam. 11. Medical requirement of continuous (infusion) neuromuscular blockade administration that is planned ongoing for at least 48 hours at time of screening. 12. Inability to start the informed consent process within the 48 hours from the time that all inclusion criteria were met (possible reasons): 1. Attending physician refusal 2. 48-hour period of eligibility was exceeded before the patient was screened 3. Legal Authorized Decision Maker (e.g. legal guardian/power of attorney) refusal 4. Legal Authorized Decision Maker (e.g. legal guardian/power of attorney) unavailable 5. Legal Authorized Decision Maker (e.g. legal guardian/power of attorney) is non-English speaking and available research staff is not proficient and/or translation services are not available in that particular language.

Study Design

Phase
Phase 3
Study Type
Interventional
Allocation
Randomized
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Prevention
Masking
Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description
Double-blind

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Active Comparator
Dexmedetomidine
Route and Concentration. The study drug will be administered intravenously (IV) by continuous infusion at concentrations of 4 mcg/mL dexmedetomidine. Patients will only receive study drug while in the ICU and on mechanical ventilation, and thus will be monitored with continuous telemetry as per usual ICU practice. Dosing Range. Study drug dose will be titrated in a double-blind manner according to clinical effect to achieve a "goal" or "target" Richmond Agitation Sedation Score set by the managing clinical team. For patients in the dexmedetomidine group, dose will range from 0.2-2.0 mcg/kg/hr.
  • Drug: Dexmedetomidine
    For patients in the dexmedetomidine group, dose will range from 0.2-2.0 mcg/kg/hr. For example, a 10 kg patient on an infusion of 1 mcg/kg/hr of dexmedetomidine would receive 10 mcg of study drug per hour. This dose range have been selected after literature review and discussions with critical care practitioners, investigational pharmacists, and the mini-MENDS study steering committee.
    Other names:
    • Precedex
    • Dexdor
Active Comparator
Midazolam
Route and Concentration. The study drug will be administered intravenously (IV) by continuous infusion at concentrations of 0.5 mg/mL midazolam. Patients will only receive study drug while in the ICU and on mechanical ventilation, and thus will be monitored with continuous telemetry as per usual ICU practice. Dosing Range. Study drug dose will be titrated in a double-blind manner according to clinical effect to achieve a "goal" or "target" Richmond Agitation Sedation Score set by the managing clinical team. For patients in the midazolam group, dose will range from 0.025-0.25 mg/kg/hr.
  • Drug: Midazolam
    For patients in the midazolam group, dose will range from 0.025-0.25 mg/kg/hr. For example, a 10 kg patient on an infusion of 0.15 mg/kg/hr of midazolam would receive 1.5 mg of midazolam per hour. This dose range have been selected after literature review and discussions with critical care practitioners, investigational pharmacists, and the mini-MENDS study steering committee.
    Other names:
    • Versed
    • Hypnovel
    • Dormicum

Recruiting Locations

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee 37232
Contact:
Alex Barry, RN, MBA

More Details

Status
Recruiting
Sponsor
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Study Contact

Heidi Smith, MD, MSCI
(615) 936-6808
heidi.smith@vumc.org

Detailed Description

The need for mechanical ventilation (MV) following acute respiratory and myocardial failure is the leading cause of admission to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Over 90% of MV pediatric patients receive continuous sedation, most commonly with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonist benzodiazepines. Recently, we demonstrated that exposure to the benzodiazepine midazolam contributed to iatrogenic harm in pediatric patients-prolonging PICU length of stay and increasing the prevalence and duration of delirium. Delirium is prevalent in the PICU with rates of up to 30% in older children, over 50% in infants and toddlers, and up to 60-70% in those on MV. Delirium in children is a significant contributor to longer duration of MV, substantial consequential costs, prolonged ICU stay, and mortality. Adult studies have shown that an alternative sedation paradigm using dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, decreases the prevalence and duration of delirium, duration of MV, ICU length of stay, cost, and infection rates compared to benzodiazepine-based sedation. Furthermore, the FDA recently published warnings regarding the possible role of anesthetics, including benzodiazepines, on cognitive dysfunction in children. Dexmedetomidine has unique anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant characteristics that are appealing given the association between inflammation, and endothelial and blood-brain barrier (BBB) injury with prolonged delirium and worse cognitive impairment in adults. To this end, there has been no large pediatric cohort study to examine the relationship between sedative choice and exposure in the ICU (a much longer exposure) with cognitive impairment among pediatric survivors. We therefore propose mini-MENDS (Maximizing Efficacy of Goal-Directed Sedation to Reduce Neurological Dysfunction in Mechanically Ventilated Infants and Children STUDY), in which we will determine whether sedation of MV pediatric patients with an alpha-2 agonist (dexmedetomidine) versus a GABA-ergic benzodiazepine (midazolam) will decrease daily prevalence of delirium (Aim 1A) and duration of MV (Aim 1B), will be associated with better functional, psychiatric, and cognitive recovery (Aim 2), and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and biomarkers of endothelial and blood brain barrier injury (Aim 3). To accomplish these aims, we will randomize 372 pediatric patients on MV, aged 6 months to 11 years, to receive goal-directed continuous sedation with either dexmedetomidine or midazolam for up to 10 days. Our primary outcome, daily prevalence of delirium, will be objectively measured by trained research nurses who are blinded to intervention arm. Screening for delirium will be completed using the Preschool or Pediatric Confusion Assessment Methods for the ICU (ps/pCAM-ICU), based on developmental age, twice daily for up to 14 days while in the PICU. Cognition, functional status, and parental/patient psychological health will be assessed at enrollment (baseline), hospital discharge (DC), and 6 months following ICU-DC during an in-person evaluation by the pediatric neuropsychiatry team. Blood will be collected on days 1, 3, and 5 post-randomization to measure cytokines, markers of endothelial and BBB injury, and for safety.

Notice

Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.