Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Ketamine is used to produce sedation and relieve pain to minimize discomfort while a breathing tube placed in trachea (windpipe) and a machine (ventilator) used in the ICU. Several publications have shown that a low-dose ketamine in combination to opioids has been used to relieve acute pain after surgery. Ketamine has a favorable characteristics including bronchodilation, increase in blood pressure, does not cause constipation, maintain respiratory reflexes (respiratory spontaneous responses) make it an especially viable alternative for patients with unstable respiratory and hemodynamic function. However, the majority of these trials are conducted in a surgical ICU setting, retrospective in nature or randomized controlled clinical trials focusing on comparison of ketamine to placebo or two study drugs (e.g. ketamine versus opioid), despite the fact that most ICU patients are sedated with a combination of drugs.
The aim of this study is to assess weather ketamine can help to shorten the time of being in breathing tube and ventilator (duration of mechanical ventilation).

Who can participate?
ICU (Medical or surgical) patients (> 14 years old) who have been mechanically ventilated within the previous 24 hours and expected to remain intubated for more than 24 hours.

What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to receive treatment as usual or a low dose of ketamine whilst under mechanical ventilation.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Benefit: increased medical attention irrespective of the group the patients are in and this study may help in improvement of knowledge and medical science progress
Risk: administration of sedative agents are standard of practice in the intensive care units to minimize discomfort and remain calm while a breathing tube placed on trachea (windpipe ) and a machine (ventilator). The expected adverse effects will not exceed what is encountered in daily practice (e.g. benzodiazepine associated delirium, opioid induced constipation, propofol and dexmedetomidine decrease blood pressure and heart rate, ketamine associated with increase in blood pressure and heart rate, possible delirium). The participants will be closely monitored to minimize any potential safety concerns

Where is the study run from?
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (Saudi Arabia)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2019 to December 2020

Who is funding the study?
Investigator initiated and funded

Who is the main contact?
Dr Marwa Amer
Dr Mohammed Bawazeer

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Marwa Amer


Contact details

Pharmaceutical Care Division
MBC # 11
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center
PO Box 3354
Saudi Arabia
+966 503412700



Additional contact

Dr Mohammed Bawazeer


Contact details

Department of Critical Care Medicine (MBC 94)
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre
P.O Box 3354
Saudi Arabia
+966 11-216-2919 Ext: 24731

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known number


Protocol/serial number

Research Advisory Council (RAC) number 2191 187

Study information

Scientific title

Adjunct Low-Dose Ketamine Infusion versus Standard of Care in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Patients at a Tertiary Saudi Hospital (ATTAINMENT Trial)



Study hypothesis

Low-dose ketamine infusion will reduce the duration of MV with an acceptable safety profile compared to standard of care.

Ethics approval

Approved 13/07/2019, Research Ethics Committee (REC) and Clinical Research Committee (CRC) at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (MBC-03, PO Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia; +966114424528;, ref: ACCM/462/40.

Study design

Prospective randomized open-label active controlled parallel group pilot feasibility phase 3 study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

No participant information sheet available


Mechanically ventilated adult critical illness


Experimental: Ketamine Group
Adjunct low dose continuous infusion ketamine in addition to the standard of care. Ketamine will be given at a fixed infusion rate of 0.12 mg/kg/hr (2 µg/kg/min) in the first 24 hours followed by 0.06 mg/kg/hr (1 µg/kg/min) in the second 24 hours, then discontinued

No Intervention: Control Group
Standard of care in the ICU including propofol and/or fentanyl and/or midazolam according to KFSHRC sedation and analgesia protocol.

Randomization will involve reading from a computer-generated randomization list with blocks of size eight to ensure interim balance of treatment assignment. This randomization list is designed by KFSH&RC biostatistical and epidemiology section. The principal investigators will have access to the randomization list. Once a patient is recruited, the principal investigators will refer to the list and assign treatment accordingly.

Intervention type



Phase III

Drug names


Primary outcome measure

Duration of Mechanical Ventilation [from Intubation to extubation date and off Mechanical Ventilation or until ICU discharge, death, or 28 days post randomization whichever occurs first]

Secondary outcome measures

Using patient records:
1. Cumulative Sedation Dosages [first 48 hours after randomization]
2. Dexmedetomidine use [first 48 hours after randomization]
3. Richmond Agitation Sedation Score (RASS) [first 48 hours after randomization]
4. Pain score measured using the KFSHRC pain scale [first 48 hours after randomization]
5. Vasopressor Medication Dosages [first 48 hours after randomization]
6. Hospital Length of Stay (LOS) [throughout study completion (1 year)]
7. ICU Length of stay (LOS) [throughout study completion (1 year)]
8. Tracheostomy rate [28 days after randomization]
9. Unplanned extubation [28 days after randomization]
10. Re-intubation rate [28 days after randomization]
11. Incidence of Delirium measured using Confusion Assessment Method in Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) [48 hours after randomization]
12. The use of anti-psychotics for confirmed ICU-acquired delirium [48 hours after randomization]
13. Use of Physical restraints [48 hours after randomization]
14. Mortality [28 days after randomization]

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. ICU (Medical or surgical) patients (> 14 years old)
2. Mechanically ventilated within the previous 24 hours and expected to remain intubated for more than 24 hours.
3. Patient requires ongoing sedative medication
4. No objection from the ICU attending MD for enrollment

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Patients with a history of dementia or psychiatric disorders or on any anti-psychotics or anti-depressants medications at home
2. Pregnancy
3. Expected to need mechanical ventilation less than 24 hours
4. Known hypersensitivity to ketamine
5. Patient on dexmedetomidine as primary sedative agent prior to randomization
6. Patients with cardiogenic shock, heart failure, myocardial infarction
7. History of end-stage liver disease.
8. Proven or suspected primary neurological injury (traumatic brain injury, ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, spinal cord injury, anoxic brain injury)
9. Patients with persistent heart rate (HR) > 150 bpm or systolic blood pressure (SBP) >180 mmHg
10. Patients who assigned as do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) or expected to die within 24 hours
11. Patients on ECMO
12. Patients with status epilepticus patients who are receiving the ketamine infusion for refractory status epilepticus
13. Proven or suspected status asthmaticus

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

Saudi Arabia

Trial participating centre

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
Zahrawi St Al Maather
Saudi Arabia

Sponsor information


King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

Sponsor details

Zahrawi St
Al Maather
Saudi Arabia
+966 114424528

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

investigator initiated and funded

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Plans for investigators to communicate trial results to participants, healthcare professionals, the public via publication, reporting in results databases.

IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be stored in a non-publically available repository. Data will be collected in the KFSH&RC Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) platform, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Each subject will be given a unique subject ID number (database numbers and all identifiers will be removed). A subject ID key will be used to match the subjects’ Medical Record Number and will be kept in a password-protected file that is accessible to the principal investigators. Access to REDCap requires authentication (username and password) for secure maintenance of the data. Access to the RedCap data will be limited to the principal investigators and co-investigators involved in data collection only. The database includes multiple logic checks for double entry and range checks for data values.
All collected information will be stored in a secure manner and all patient data will be kept confidential. Data to be collected as follows: age, gender, weight, mode of MV at baseline, percentage of renal replacement therapy at baseline, lactate level at baseline, and severity of illness as estimated by Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score, with higher scores indicating higher severity of illness. Moreover, we will collect ICU type, baseline analgesics, sedatives, vasopressor requirements, and Pre-Deliric Delirium Risk Score, which is a delirium prediction model specifically designed for adult critical care patients 24 hours after ICU admission. It will be used to predict the factors that may influence delirium risk prior to randomization. We will also collect RASS, pain scores, and CAM-ICU scores at baseline, 24 and 48 hours post-randomization. The RASS is a scale used to assess the depth of sedation on a scale of -5 to +4, with a negative value indicating deeper sedation and positive values indicating increased agitation. The CAM-ICU is a valid and reliable delirium assessment tool. Patients with a RASS of -3 or lower will be excluded from CAM-ICU status assessment as they cannot participate in the exam. We will also record the proportion of eligible participants enrolled, rates of recruitment, protocol deviations and adverse events. To ensure consistency in data collection, training sessions will be held by the principal investigators for all research co-investigators involved in data collection prior to study commencement. Additionally, the principal investigators will conduct educational sessions for ICU physicians and ICU nurses, which will include the study protocol, and periodic follow-up educational sessions to provide feedback and ensure optimal compliance with the study protocol.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Stored in repository

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

05/02/2020: Trial’s existence confirmed by King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre