Deep Sedation Using Propofol Target-controlled Infusion for Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Procedures

A Retrospective Cohort Study

María E. García Guzzo; María S. Fernandez; Delfina Sanchez Novas; Sandra S. Salgado; Sergio A. Terrasa; Gonzalo Domenech; Carlos A. Teijido


BMC Anesthesiol. 2020;20(195) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Propofol sedation is effective for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures, but its narrow therapeutic window highlights the importance of identifying an optimal administration technique regarding effectiveness and safety. This study aimed to determine the incidence of significant adverse events in adult patients scheduled for gastrointestinal endoscopy under anaesthetist-performed sedation using propofol target-controlled infusion and determine the existence of associations between these events and potentially related variables.

Methods: This single-centre, retrospective cohort study took place in a tertiary referral university hospital. Medical records of 823 patients (age > 18 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification scores I–III) who had undergone elective gastrointestinal endoscopy under propofol target-controlled infusion sedation during September 2018 were reviewed. Outcomes included hypoxia, hypotension, and bradycardia events, requirement of vasoactive drugs, unplanned tracheal intubation or supraglottic device insertion, and need for advanced cardiac life support.

Results: The most frequently encountered adverse event was oxygen desaturation < 95% with an incidence of 22.35%. Vasoactive drug administration, hypotension, and oxygen desaturation < 90% followed, with incidences of 19.2, 12.64, and 9.92%, respectively. Only 0.5% of patients required advanced airway management. Multivariate analysis revealed an association between hypotension events, colonoscopic procedures, and propofol doses (odds ratio: 3.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.43 to 6.61; P = 0.004 and odds ratio: 1.14, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.29; P = 0.046). A strong dose-effect relationship was found between hypoxia and obesity; patients with body mass index ≥40 were nine times (odds ratio: 10.22, 95% confidence interval: 2.83 to 36.99) more likely to experience oxygen desaturation < 90% events.

Conclusions: Propofol sedation using target-controlled infusion appears to be a safe and effective anaesthetic technique for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures with acceptable rates of adverse events and could be more widely adopted in clinical practice.