Propofol sedation for outpatient upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: comparison with midazolam

Br J Anaesth. 1991 Jul;67(1):108-11. doi: 10.1093/bja/67.1.108.


The objectives of this study were to assess midazolam and propofol as sedative agents for outpatient gastrointestinal endoscopy, with particular reference to recovery profile, amnesic effects, and haemodynamic state and oxygenation during the procedure. Forty consecutive patients were allocated randomly to two groups. Patients in group I (n = 19) received midazolam 81 (SEM 32) micrograms kg-1; those in group II (n = 21) received propofol 950 (400) micrograms kg-1. Both agents were administered as single injections to similar end-points of sedation. Psychomotor function was assessed using the digit symbol substitution test (DSST). Amnesia was measured with a visual memory test and subjective questionnaire. Patients in group I had a lower DSST score than those in group II (P less than 0.01), indicating a hangover effect from midazolam. Amnesia was similar in the two groups up to the time of removal of the endoscope. More patients in group II remembered removal of the endoscope (P less than 0.001). Oxygen desaturation from baseline was similar in both groups (P less than 0.01). An increase in heart rate and decrease in mean arterial pressure were noted in both groups. Propofol provided more rapid recovery compared with midazolam, but was associated with pain on injection, a short amnesia span, and reduced patient acceptance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal*
  • Humans
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Midazolam*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Partial Pressure
  • Propofol*


  • Midazolam
  • Oxygen
  • Propofol