Background: Women awaiting needle-guided breast biopsy procedures may experience high anxiety levels. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to evaluate the ability of midazolam and diazepam (in a lipid emulsion [Dizac]) to improve patient comfort during needle localization and breast biopsy procedures.
Methods: Ninety women received two consecutive doses of a study medication, one before the mammographic needle localization and a second before entering the operating room. Patients were assigned randomly to receive saline, 2.0 ml intravenously, at the two time points; midazolam, 1.0 mg intravenously and 2.0 mg intravenously; or diazepam emulsion, 2.0 mg intravenously and 5.0 mg intravenously, respectively. Patients assessed their anxiety levels before the needle localization, before entering the operating room, and on arrival in the operating room. Patients completed a questionnaire evaluating their perioperative experience at the time of discharge.
Results: Patient satisfaction during needle localization was significantly improved in both benzodiazepine treatment groups (vs. saline). The incidence of moderate-to-severe discomfort during needle localization was lower in the midazolam (20%) and diazepam emulsion (6%) groups compared with the saline group (70%) (P<0.05). The preoperative visual analogue scale anxiety scores were similar in all three groups. In the operating room, however, anxiety scores were 55% and 68% lower after midazolam (21+/-19) and diazepam emulsion (15+/-14) compared with saline (46+/-28). Finally, there was no difference in the time to achieve home-readiness or actual discharge time among the three groups.
Conclusions: Premedication with midazolam or diazepam emulsion improved patients' comfort during needle localization procedures and significantly reduced intraoperative anxiety levels before breast biopsy procedures without prolonging discharge times. Use of diazepam emulsion may be an effective alternative to midazolam in this population.