Safety and efficacy of combined use of propofol and etomidate for sedation during gastroscopy: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 May;98(20):e15712. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015712.


Background: Sedation with etomidate or propofol alone during gastroscopy has many side effects. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combined use of propofol and etomidate for sedation during gastroscopy.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, Medline (via Ovid SP), Cochrane library databases, CINAHL (via EBSCO), China Biology Medicine disc (CBMdisc), Wanfang, VIP, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases were systematically searched. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the combined use of propofol and etomidate vs etomidate or propofol alone for sedation during gastroscopy. Data were pooled using the random-effects models or fixed-effect model based on heterogeneity.

Results: Fifteen studies with 2973 participants were included in the analysis. Compared to propofol alone, the combined use of propofol and etomidate possibly increased recovery time (SMD = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.04-0.24; P = .005), and the risk for myoclonus (OR = 3.07, 95% CI = 1.73-5.44; P < .001), injection pain, and nausea and vomiting. Furthermore, compared to propofol alone, the combination of propofol and etomidate produced an apparent beneficial effect for mean arterial pressure (MAP) after anesthesia (SMD = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.38-2.26; P = .006), SPO2 after anesthesia (SMD = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.43-1.55; P < .001), apnea or hypoxemia (OR = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.08-0.33; P < .001), injection pain, and body movement. Further, compared to etomidate alone, the combination of propofol and etomidate reduced the risk for myoclonus (OR = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.11-0.22; P < .001), body movement, and nausea and vomiting.

Conclusion: The combination of propofol and etomidate might increase recovery time vs that associated with propofol, but it had fewer side effects on circulation and respiration in patients undergoing gastroscopy. The combined use of propofol and etomidate can improve and produce an apparent beneficial effect on the adverse effects of propofol or etomidate alone, and it was safer and more effective than propofol or etomidate alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Combined / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Combined / adverse effects*
  • Anesthetics, Combined / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Arterial Pressure / drug effects
  • China / epidemiology
  • Etomidate / administration & dosage
  • Etomidate / adverse effects*
  • Etomidate / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gastroscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / chemically induced
  • Injection Site Reaction / pathology
  • Male
  • Myoclonus / chemically induced
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / adverse effects*
  • Propofol / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk
  • Vomiting / chemically induced


  • Anesthetics, Combined
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Propofol
  • Etomidate