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Gastrointest Endosc. 2018 Jan;87(1):174-184. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2017.05.050. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

Efficacy and safety of etomidate-based sedation compared with propofol-based sedation during ERCP in low-risk patients: a double-blind, randomized, noninferiority trial.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.



Etomidate is a short-acting intravenous hypnotic with a safety profile that is superior to alternative drugs such as propofol. However, there is a lack of evidence on the safety of etomidate in ERCP. The objective of this study was to compare efficacy and safety profiles of etomidate and propofol for endoscopic sedation.


This single-center, randomized, double-blind, noninferiority trial included patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status I to II who had been scheduled for ERCP. All patients received .05 mg/kg midazolam intravenously as pretreatment before receiving etomidate or propofol. Either etomidate or propofol was then administered according to group allocation. The primary endpoint was an overall respiratory event. A noninferiority margin of 10% was assumed.


Sixty-three and 64 patients were enrolled in the etomidate and propofol groups, respectively. Respiratory events were identified in 10 patients (15.6%) in the etomidate group and 16 patients (25.4%) on the propofol group, with a rate difference of -9.8% (1-sided 97.5% confidence interval, -∞ to 4.2%). The overall incidence of cardiovascular events tended to be higher in the etomidate group (67.2% vs 50.8%, P = .060). In particular, tachycardia (heart rate > 100 beats/min) was more common in the etomidate group than in the propofol group (64.1% vs 34.9%, P = .001). Transient hypotension tended to be less common in the etomidate group (6.3 vs 15.9%, P = .084).


Etomidate-based sedation during ERCP was noninferior to propofol-based sedation in terms of the overall incidence of respiratory events in patients with ASA physical status I to II. (International Clinical Trials Registry Platform number: KCT0001926.).

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