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Neurocrit Care. 2006;4(1):54-62.

Propofol for sedation in neuro-intensive care.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Interventions in the intensive care unit often require that the patient be sedated. Propofol is a widely used, potent sedative agent that is popular in critical care and operating room settings. In addition to its sedative qualities, propofol has neurovascular, neuroprotective, and electroencephalographical effects that are salutory in the patient in neurocritical care. However, the 15-year experience with this agent has not been entirely unbesmirched by controversy: propofol also has important adverse effects that must be carefully considered. This article discusses and reviews the pharmacology of propofol, with specific emphasis on its use as a sedative in the neuro-intensive care unit. A detailed explanation of central nervous system and cardiovascular mechanisms is presented. Additionally, the article reviews the literature specifically pertaining to neurocritical care use of propofol.

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