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Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2019 Jun;6(2):119-124. doi: 10.15441/ceem.18.012. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

Factors affecting determination of the optimal ketamine dose for pediatric sedation.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Children are sedated before undergoing diagnostic imaging tests in emergency medicine or pediatric sedation anesthesia units. The aim of this study was to identify variables potentially affecting the dose of ketamine required for induction of sedation in pediatric patients undergoing diagnostic imaging.


This retrospective study included children aged 0 to 18 years who underwent sedation with ketamine for computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging in the pediatric sedation anesthesia unit of a tertiary medical center between January 2011 and August 2016. The children's hemodynamic status and depth of sedation were monitored during the examination. We recorded data on demographics, categories of imaging tests, ketamine doses administered, adverse events, respiratory interventions, and duration of sedation. Data for patients who experienced adverse events were excluded.


Sixty-six patients were included in the final analysis. Univariate linear regression analysis revealed that patient age, height, and body surface area (BSA) affected the sedative dose of ketamine administered. These three variables showed multicollinearity in multivariate linear regression analysis and were analyzed in three separate models. The model with the highest adjusted R-squared value suggested the following equation for determination of the dose of ketamine required to induce sedation: ketamine dose (mg)=-1.62+0.7×age (months)+36.36×BSA (m2).


Variables such as age and BSA should be considered when estimating the dose of ketamine required for induction of sedation in pediatric patients.


Anesthesia; Ketamine; Patient care

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