Plasma concentrations of midazolam in neonates receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Hussain Mulla, Graham Lawson, Giles J. Peek, R. K. Firmin, David R. Upton

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36 Scopus citations


Drug disposition is affected during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). This study investigates the dose-concentration relationship of midazolam in neonates requiring ECMO during continuous infusion into the circuit (extracorporeally; n = 10) and intravenously (n = 10). Data on hourly doses and sedation scores were collected for 120 hours. Plasma concentrations were analyzed at times 0, 2, 4, 6, 12, 18, and 24, and every 12 hours thereafter. Both groups were clinically similar. Mean (standard deviation) dose for all patients was 250 (185) μg/kg/h, four times greater than previously reported. Doses administered in the first 24 hours were significantly greater extracorporeally [361 (300)] compared with intravenous [258 (190) μg/kg/h, p < 0.001]. Mean (standard deviation) plasma concentrations in all patients at 24, 48, and 72 hours were 1.4 (0.9), 1.8 (1.2), and 2.6 (1.8) μg/mi, respectively. Satisfactory sedation levels were achieved in all patients. Comparison of the actual observed with predicted (simulated) midazolam concentrations suggested significant attenuation of plasma levels during the first 24 hours of ECMO. However, at 48 hours, observed concentrations exceeded those predicted, suggesting accumulation. We conclude that in the first 24 hours of ECMO, because of an expanded circulating volume and sequestration by the circuit, significantly more midazolam is required to achieve adequate sedation. Subsequently, and because of circuit saturation, maintenance doses should be reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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