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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov;48(11):1333-8. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.837951. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

No increased risk of perforation during colonoscopy in patients undergoing Nurse Administered Propofol Sedation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen , Herlev , Denmark.



Nurse Administered Propofol Sedation (NAPS) contributes to a deeper sedation of the patients, making them unable to respond to pain and an increased incidence of perforations has been speculated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of perforations during colonoscopies performed with either NAPS or conventional sedation regimes.


Data were retrospectively retracted from medical journals from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2011. All journals were examined and cross-referenced to reveal any perforations. We analyzed all colonoscopies in regard to nature of the procedure (diagnostic vs therapeutic), experience of the endoscopist and ASA-classification of the patients.


A total of 6371 colonoscopies were performed, of which 3155 were performed under propofol sedation. There were 16 perforations (0.25%); 10 of these performed during NAPS and 6 during conventional colonoscopy (p = 0.454, OR: 1.7 (95% CI: 0.6-5.7)). There were 4874 diagnostic and 1497 therapeutic colonoscopies, with a majority of the perforations (94%) occurring during a diagnostic procedure (p = 0.389). No statistically difference was found in the incidence of perforations caused by an experienced or less experienced endoscopist (p = 0.589).


The risk of colonic perforations during colonoscopy was not found to be significantly higher in patients undergoing NAPS compared to patients undergoing conventional sedation, although a tendency may exist. Furthermore, we found no correlation to neither experience of the endoscopist, nature of the procedure nor sex of the patients. Larger and prospective studies are needed to further evaluate on this subject.

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