Safety and efficacy of endoscopist-directed balanced propofol sedation during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

Authors Alon Lapidus, Ian M. Gralnek, Alain Suissa, Kamel Yassin, Iyad Khamaysi.


Background Endoscopist-directed balanced propofol sedation (BPS) appears to be safe and effective for routine endoscopy. However, there are limited data on its use in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). We evaluated the safety and efficacy of endoscopist-directed BPS for ERCP, and compared patient outcomes with anesthesiologist-administered moderate sedation.

Methods This was a retrospective cohort study, using prospectively collected endoscopy data from a tertiary care medical center where endoscopist-directed BPS during ERCP is routine practice. Adverse outcomes included need for bag-mask ventilation or intubation, aborted ERCP due to sedation, hospital admission post-ERCP (outpatients)/change in the level of care (inpatients), and death within 24 h.

Results A total of 501 patients underwent ERCP with the use of endoscopist-directed BPS: Cohort 1 - 380 (76%) inpatients, mean age 64.1, 46% male, 24% American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (ASA) score I, 65% ASA II, 11% ASA III. Concurrently, 24 patients received anesthesiologist-administered moderate sedation: Cohort 2 - 19 (79%) inpatients, mean age 65.0, 67% male, 12% ASA I, 25% ASA II, 38% ASA III, 25% ASA IV. In Cohort 1, none of the adverse outcomes were observed. Propofol dose was inversely correlated with age (r=-0.42, P<0.001), ASA score (r=-0.19, P<0.001), and Mallampati score (r=-0.24, P<0.001). One patient in Cohort 2 who received anesthesiologist-administered BPS required bag-mask ventilation and the ERCP was prematurely aborted because of the sedation. There were no deaths from any cause within 24 h of ERCP.

Conclusion Endoscopist-directed BPS appears safe, efficacious, and feasible for ASA I-III patients undergoing inpatient or ambulatory ERCP.

Keywords Propofol, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, balanced propofol sedation, endoscopy, anesthesiology, moderate sedation

Ann Gastroenterol 2019; 32 (3): 303-311

Original Articles