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Remimazolam for anesthesia and sedation in cardiac surgery and for cardiac patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery: a systematic-narrative hybrid review.

INTRODUCTION: Remimazolam, an ultra-short-acting benzodiazepine recognized and approved as an anesthetic and sedative in multiple countries, offers a distinctive pharmacokinetic profile, boasting advantages such as rapid onset, short action duration, and rapid recovery. These attributes may contribute to enhanced hemodynamic stability and a diminished risk of respiratory depression compared to other sedatives.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We conducted the first comprehensive systematically structured narrative review to evaluate the role and potential application of remimazolam in cardiac surgery. Twenty-one studies published from 2021 to 2023 delved into remimazolam's application in open cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterization or electrophysiology laboratories, and high-risk cardiovascular patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Overall, remimazolam usage was apparently linked to potentially superior hemodynamic stability compared to other hypnotic drugs. However, findings regarding the reduction in postoperative delirium incidence with remimazolam and the doses of remimazolam for anesthesia induction and maintenance were inconsistent across the studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Though remimazolam has demonstrated potential safety, efficacy, and ease-of-use for both anesthesia induction and maintenance in cardiac surgery patients and high-risk cardiovascular patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, further research is imperative to delve into specific patient subgroups (e.g., the elderly or emergent procedures) so as to ascertain optimal dose ranges to suit diverse clinical scenarios.

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