Sedation for pediatric echocardiography: evaluation of preprocedure fasting guidelines

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2002 Sep;15(9):980-3. doi: 10.1067/mje.2002.121274.


In an effort to increase the safety of sedated procedures, there is a recent trend to increase preprocedure fasting times. However, optimal fasting times have never been established for a sedated echocardiogram. We retrospectively analyzed 334 patients divided into 2 groups. Group 1 (140 patients) had fasting times less than 2 hours, whereas group 2 (184 patients) had fasting times more than 2 hours. When the entire population was considered, there was no difference in efficacy between the 2 groups (P =.08). However, in patients younger than 6 months, group 2 had decreased efficacy compared with group 1 (P =.03). There were no major complications in either group. There was no difference in the rate of minor complications between the 2 groups. Our study concludes that longer fasting times are less efficacious in children younger than 6 months, and do not improve safety.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chloral Hydrate / administration & dosage*
  • Chloral Hydrate / adverse effects
  • Cyanosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Echocardiography
  • Fasting*
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Infant
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Time Factors
  • Vomiting / etiology


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Chloral Hydrate