Can a validated sleep apnea scoring system predict cardiopulmonary events using propofol sedation for routine EGD or colonoscopy? A prospective cohort study

Gastrointest Endosc. 2014 Mar;79(3):436-44. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2013.09.022. Epub 2013 Nov 9.


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is linked to the prevalence of obesity, continues to rise in the United States. There are limited data on the risk for sedation-related adverse events (SRAE) in patients with undiagnosed OSA receiving propofol for routine EGD and colonoscopy.

Objective: To identify the prevalence of OSA by using the STOP-BANG questionnaire (SB) and subsequent risk factors for airway interventions (AI) and SRAE in patients undergoing elective EGD and colonoscopy.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary-care teaching hospital.

Patients: A total of 243 patients undergoing routine EGD or colonoscopy at Cleveland Clinic.

Intervention: Chin lift, mask ventilation, placement of nasopharyngeal airway, bag mask ventilation, unplanned endotracheal intubation, hypoxia, hypotension, or early procedure termination.

Main outcome measurements: Rates of AI and SRAE.

Results: Mean age of the cohort was 50 ± 16.2 years, and 41% were male. The prevalence of SB+ was 48.1%. The rates of hypoxia (11.2% vs 16.9%; P = .20) and hypotension (10.4% vs 5.9%; P = .21) were similar between SB- and SB+ patients. An SB score ≥3 was found not to be associated with occurrence of AI (relative risk [RR] 1.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79-1.5) or SRAE (RR 0.81, 95% CI, 0.53-1.2) after we adjusted for total and loading dose of propofol, body mass index (BMI), smoking, and age. Higher BMI was associated with an increased risk for AI (RR 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) and SRAE (RR 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.05). Increased patient age (RR 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.2), higher loading propofol doses (RR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8), and smoking (RR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.9) were associated with higher rates of SRAE.

Limitations: Non-randomized study.

Conclusion: A significant number of patients undergoing routine EGD and colonoscopy are at risk for OSA. SB+ patients are not at higher risk for AI or SRAE. However, other risk factors for AI and SRAE have been identified and must be taken into account to optimize patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects*
  • Hypotension / etiology
  • Hypoxia / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Propofol