A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate topical anaesthesia of the pharynx in upper gastrointestinal endoscopy

Endoscopy. 1992 Aug;24(6):585-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1010550.


Reduction of discomfort during diagnostic upper endoscopy may not be desired by patients if the medication has long-lasting and severe after-effects. The present study was designed to examine whether topical anaesthesia of the pharynx without concomitant sedation is of overall benefit to patients undergoing diagnostic upper endoscopy. Two hundred out-patients were randomized to receive in the form of a pharyngeal spray either 80-120 mg lidocaine or placebo. Patients assessed discomfort on a 100 mm visual analogue scale the day after examination. Patients undergoing endoscopy who received lidocaine spray experienced significantly less discomfort from the intubation (p = 0.0001), and discomfort induced by the rest of the examination was also reduced (p = 0.003). The outcome of the endoscopists' assessment was also in favour of lidocaine spray for intubation (p = 0.157) and ease of examination (p = 0.0014). The assessment of throat discomfort suffered by patients after endoscopy did not differ between the groups. A majority of patients, the same proportion in each group, stated they would prefer their next endoscopy to be performed with topical anaesthesia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Local*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Lidocaine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharynx*


  • Lidocaine