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Oncotarget. 2017 Nov 1;8(60):102468-102473. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.22271. eCollection 2017 Nov 24.

Dexmedetomidine versus propofol on the sedation of pediatric patients during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning: a meta-analysis of current studies.

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Department of Radiology, XuZhou Children's Hospital, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221006, China.
Department of Neurology, The Tenth Ward, XuZhou Children's Hospital, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221006, China.
Contributed equally


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a widely applied diagnostic approach for detection of pediatric diseases. Sedatives are commonly used to acquire the accurate MRI images. Dexmedetomidine and propofol serve as sole or combined sedatives in pediatric MRI scanning. This meta-analysis aimed to compare the efficacy of dexmedetomidine and propofol in children ubdergoing MRI. Pubmed, Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched up to June, 2017. Onset of sedation time, recovery time, sedation time, MRI time, MRI quality and emergence delirium were analyzed. 6 studies with 368 subjects were enrolled in this meta-analysis. The pooling data showed that propofol had a shorter onset of sedation time (WMD: 6.05, 95% CI: 3.12 - 8.98, P < 0.0001) and recovery time (WMD: 1.01, 95% CI: 0.36-1.67, P < 0.001) than dexmedetomidine. But for sedation time and MRI scanning time, there were no differences between the two groups (sedation time: P = 0.29; MRI scanning time: P = 0.50). There were no significance between dexmedetomidine and propofol on MRI quality (MRI quality 1: P = 1.00; MRI quality 2: P = 0.68; MRI quality 3: P = 0.45). Two studies using Pediatric Anesthesia Emergence Delirium (PAED) to assess emergence delirium 10 minutes after awakening showed that propofol had a lower PAED than dexmedetomidine (WMD: 2.57, 95% CI: 0.15-5.00, P = 0.04). Thus, propofol should be encouraged in pediatric patients undergoing MRI for its better sedative effects and a low incidence of emergence delirium.


dexmedetomidine; magnetic resonance imaging; meta-analysis; propofol; sedation

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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