The propofol infusion syndrome in infants and children: can we predict the risk?

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2002 Jun;15(3):339-42. doi: 10.1097/00001503-200206000-00010.


Propofol has been an immensely successful anaesthetic induction agent but there is an increasing number of reports of serious complications when it has been used as an infusion to provide sedation for prolonged periods. The first reports involved children who died from intractable myocardial failure preceded by a metabolic acidosis, lipaemic plasma, fatty infiltration of the liver and evidence of muscle damage. As more cases have been reported the association between propofol and the syndrome has become more certain. Recently adult cases have appeared and a metabolic explanation has been suggested. The syndrome has a high mortality and the only effective treatment appears to be dialysis.