Gender-related differences in the pharmacology of drugs used in anaesthesiology have been reported by different authors. The aim of this study was to compare propofol dosages in a greater number of male and female patients who had received electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring to maintain a defined depth of anaesthesia. Data from an EEG-controlled study were analysed with regard to gender differences in the consumption of the short-acting hypnotic propofol during maintenance of total intravenous anaesthesia and with regard to recovery times. The 656 patients (239 male, 417 female) were 15 to 97 years old, underwent different surgical procedures, and received propofol in combination with remifentanil, a short-acting opioid. During the steady-state of anaesthesia the EEG stage D(2)/E(0), which corresponds to deep hypnosis, was the target level (EEG monitor: Narcotrend). Propofol dosages were calculated as mg/kg body weight/h and as mg/kg lean body mass/h. Significantly higher propofol dosages were observed in female patients compared to male patients, especially with lean body mass as a reference parameter. The dosages were characterised by a high interindividual variability. The time from stop of propofol until extubation was significantly shorter in women than in men. The propofol dosage for maintenance of anaesthesia at the EEG level D(2)/E(0) decreased with increasing age.