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Gastrointest Endosc. 1999 Jun;49(6):677-83.

Efficacy and safety of intravenous propofol sedation during routine ERCP: a prospective, controlled study.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



Adequate patient sedation is mandatory for diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The short-acting anesthetic propofol offers certain potential advantages for endoscopic procedures, but controlled studies proving its superiority over benzodiazepines for ERCP are lacking.


During a 6-month period 198 consecutive patients undergoing routine ERCP randomly received either midazolam (n = 98) or propofol (n = 99) for sedation. Vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation) were continuously monitored and procedure-related parameters, the recovery time and quality (recovery score) as well as the patient's cooperation and tolerance of the procedure (visual analog scales) were prospectively assessed.


Patients receiving propofol or midazolam were well matched with respect to demographic and clinical data, ERCP findings, and the performance of associated procedures. Propofol caused a more rapid onset of sedation than midazolam (p < 0.01). Clinically relevant changes in vital signs were observed at comparable frequencies with temporary oxygen desaturation occurring (< 85 %) in 6 patients in the propofol group and 4 patients receiving midazolam (not significant). However, an episode of apnea had to be managed by mask ventilation via an ambu bag (lasting 8 minutes) in one of the patients receiving propofol sedation. Mean recovery times as well as the recovery scores were significantly shorter with propofol (p < 0. 01). Propofol provided significantly better patient cooperation than midazolam ( p < 0.01), but procedure tolerability was rated the same by both groups of patients (not significant).


Intravenous sedation with propofol for ERCP is (1) more effective than sedation with midazolam, (2) safe under adequate patient monitoring, and (3) associated with a faster postprocedure recovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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