Comparison of Dexmedetomidine Versus Propofol on Hospital Costs and Length of Stay

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this evaluation was to compare total hospital costs and length of stay of critically ill patients who received dexmedetomidine versus propofol for sedation in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: This was a retrospective quality improvement evaluation at a tertiary care, academic medical center in the United States. Data were retrieved for patients discharged between April 2012 and June 2013. Patients were included if they were admitted to the ICU, were 18 years of age or older, and received dexmedetomidine or propofol for sedation. Multivariate regression models were developed to determine the association between sedative type and hospital costs, ICU length of stay, and hospital length of stay. Results: The final cohort included 3294 patients. Of these, 2685 received propofol and 609 received dexmedetomidine. The median hospital cost was US$31 041 (interquartile range [IQR] US$17 963-US$57 826) in the propofol group and US$46 716 (IQR US$31 247 to US$85 490) in the dexmedetomidine group (P <.001). The median ICU length of stay was 2 days (IQR 1-6 days) and 4 days (IQR 2-9 days) in the propofol and dexmedetomidine groups, respectively (P <.001). Overall, hospital length of stay was 8 days (IQR 4-15 days) and 9 days (IQR 5-18 days) in the 2 groups, respectively (P <.001). In the multivariate analyses, dexmedetomidine use was associated with increased costs, ICU length of stay, and hospital length of stay (P <.001 for each outcome). Conclusions: In this academic medical center, dexmedetomidine use was associated with higher costs when compared to propofol for sedation in the ICU. Also, use of dexmedetomidine was associated with increased lengths of ICU and hospital stay. Future prospective trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016



  • costs and cost analysis
  • critical care
  • dexmedetomidine
  • propofol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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