BACKGROUND Intrathecal dexmedetomidine (DEX) can improve the blockade of spinal anesthesia, but there is no clear conclusion on whether it has an effect on the fetus during cesarean section. Our meta-analysis evaluated the safety and efficacy of intrathecal DEX in cesarean delivery. MATERIAL AND METHODS We searched Cochrane, Embase, PubMed, and CBM for eligible studies, and used the Revised Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool (RoB 2.0) to assess the risk of bias of each study. RevMan was used for statistical analyses. We have registered this meta-analysis on PROSPERO (CRD42019120995). RESULTS The meta-analysis included 10 RCTs, but only 5 were prospectively registered. The results of preregistration studies, including the 1- or 5-min Apgar score (mean difference [MD], -0.03; 95% confidence intervals [CI], -0.16 to 0.10; P=0.64 or MD, 0.00; 95% CI, -0.09 to 0.09; P=1), the umbilical arterial oxygen or carbon dioxide partial pressure (MD, 0.90; 95% CI, -4.92 to 6.72; P=0.76 or MD, 1.20; 95% CI, -2.06 to 4.46; P=0.47), and the cord blood pH (MD, -0.01; 95% CI, -0.05 to 0.03; P=0.72), showed that intrathecal DEX had no significant difference in neonatal outcomes compared with placebo. In maternal outcomes, intrathecal DEX significantly prolonged postoperative pain-free period and reduced the incidence of postoperative shivering, which did not increase spinal anesthesia-associated adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS Intrathecal DEX is safe for the fetus during cesarean section and can improve the blockade effects of spinal anesthesia on puerperae.
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