J Pediatr Intensive Care 2020; 09(01): 064-069
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1698758
Case Report
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Management of Paroxysmal Sympathetic Hyperactivity with Dexmedetomidine and Propranolol Following Traumatic Brain Injury in a Pediatric Patient

1  Department of Pharmacy, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
2  University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
,
Kelsey L. Ohman
1  Department of Pharmacy, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
2  University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
,
Donald W. Johnson
1  Department of Pharmacy, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
2  University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
,
Brian W. Gilbert
3  Department of Pharmacy, Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

17 April 2019

02 September 2019

Publication Date:
18 October 2019 (online)

Abstract

We report a case of pharmacologic management of pediatric paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH) in a patient who experienced symptomatic resolution with dexmedetomidine and propranolol. Following a blunt traumatic subdural hematoma and diffuse axonal injury, an 8-year-old male developed PSH on approximately day 5 of the hospitalization. PSH symptoms identified in this patient were hyperthermia, tachycardia, posturing, and hypertension with associated elevations in intracranial pressure. Episodes of PSH continued to be observed despite appropriate titration of opiates, sedatives, and traditional blood pressure management. Dexmedetomidine and propranolol were subsequently initiated to attenuate acute episodes of PSH. A reduction in sedative requirements and improvement in symptoms followed, which facilitated successful extubation. The combination of propranolol and dexmedetomidine was followed by a decrease in the frequency and severity of acute episodes of PSH. After utilization of multiple treatment modalities to control PSH episodes in our patient, propranolol and dexmedetomidine may have helped attenuate PSH signs and symptoms.