Current Issue - May-June 2015 - Vol 18 Issue 3


  1. 2015;18;E425-E427Initial Experience with IV Ketamine Infusion for Treatment of Post Sternotomy Pain in a Patient with a Total Artificial Heart
    Brief Commentary
    Dermot P Maher, MD, Rusty Loyferman, DO, Roya Yumul, MD, PhD, and Charles Louy, MD, PhD.

The implantation of total artificial hearts (TAH) via midline sternotomy for the treatment of severe biventricular cardiac dysfunction is associated with complex postoperative pain management. Ketamaine increases blood pressure by raising sympathetic outflow and cardiac ouput; however, ketamine is a direct vasodilator on isolated arterial tissues. In the setting of a TAH with a mechanically fixed cardiac output, a ketamine infusion for postoperative pain control has the potential to decrease blood pressure due to direct arterial vasodilation. We present the initial experience with a ketamine infusion in a patient with a TAH with minimal observed decreases in blood pressure and significantly improved postoperative pain.