Gastroenterologist-administered propofol for therapeutic upper endoscopy with graphic assessment of respiratory activity: A case series

John J. Vargo, Gregory Zuccaro, John A. Dumot, Steven S. Shay, Darwin L. Conwell, J. Brad Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Background: Traditional methods of sedation and analgesia for advanced endoscopic procedures can be inadequate and frequently prolong recovery room observation. Propofol is a rapidly acting agent that produces an excellent hypnotic state, but its use is typically limited to anesthesiologist-assisted cases because of the inadequacy of current monitoring standards to reliably detect early stages of respiratory depression. Methods: Ten patients undergoing advanced upper endoscopic procedures (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, esophageal stent placement) received a propofol infusion under the control of a second qualified gastroenterologist with advanced cardiac life support skills. Graphic assessment of respiratory activity was made by using a sidestream carbon dioxide detecting cannula. Patient satisfaction was measured with a 100 mm visual analog scale. Recovery scores were measured by standardized scoring of discharge criteria. Results: Monitoring with graphic assessment of respiratory activity detected early phases of respiratory depression, resulting in a timely decrease in the propofol infusion without significant hypoxemia, hypercapnia, hypotension, or arrhythmias. Satisfaction scores were extremely high (median score 92 of 100) and 9 of 10 patients met discharge criteria at 15 minutes after discontinuation of the propofol infusion. Conclusions: With the use of monitoring by graphic assessment of respiratory activity, propofol infusion by a second qualified gastroenterologist for prolonged upper endoscopic procedures is safe and results in high levels of patient satisfaction with rapid recovery times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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