Sedation in digestive endoscopy: the Athens international position statements

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Aug;32(3):425-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04352.x. Epub 2010 May 8.


Background: Guidelines and practice standards for sedation in endoscopy have been developed by various national professional societies. No attempt has been made to assess consensus among internationally recognized experts in this field.

Aim: To identify areas of consensus and dissent among international experts on a broad range of issues pertaining to the practice of sedation in digestive endoscopy.

Methods: Thirty-two position statements were reviewed during a 1 (1/2)-day meeting. Thirty-two individuals from 12 countries and four continents, representing the fields of gastroenterology, anaesthesiology and medical jurisprudence heard evidence-based presentations on each statement. Level of agreement among the experts for each statement was determined by an open poll.

Results: The principle recommendations included the following: (i) sedation improves patient tolerance and compliance for endoscopy, (ii) whenever possible, patients undergoing endoscopy should be offered the option of having the procedure either with or without sedation, (iii) monitoring of vital signs as well as the levels of consciousness and pain/discomfort should be performed routinely during endoscopy, and (iv) endoscopists and nurses with appropriate training can safely and effectively administer propofol to low-risk patients undergoing endoscopic procedures.

Conclusions: While the standards of practice vary from country to country, there was broad agreement among participants regarding most issues pertaining to sedation during endoscopy.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Colonoscopy / standards*
  • Conscious Sedation / standards*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / standards*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Patient Compliance
  • Professional Practice / standards*
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / therapeutic use


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Propofol