Dexmedetomidine is a sedative promoted as having minimal impact on ventilatory drive or upper airway muscle activity. However, more recent study has demonstrated impaired ventilatory drive and induction of apneas in sedated volunteers. In this issue of Anesthesiology, Lodenius et al. measured upper airway collapsibility during dexmedetomidine sedation and related it to propofol. In an accompanying Editorial View, Ward and Karan review previous comparative studies with this new trial and conclude that light to moderate sedation with dexmedetomidine does not appear to offer any protection from central ventilatory apneas and airway obstructions over propofol. Cover illustration: A. Johnson, Vivo Visuals.

  • Lodenius et al.: Upper Airway Collapsibility during Dexmedetomidine and Propofol Sedation in Healthy Volunteers: A Nonblinded Randomized Crossover Study, p. 962

  • Ward and Karan: Dexmedetomidine and the Upper Airway: Not as Simple as We Hoped, p. 953