Korean J Gastrointest Endosc.  2011 Feb;42(2):67-73.

Conscious Sedation During Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Midazolam vs Propofol

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kumccjh@kumc.or.kr


Endoscopy is increasingly performed with the patient under conscious sedation in many countries. The majority of patients can be adequately and safely sedated during routine upper endoscopy and colonoscopy with a combination of a benzodiazepine and opioid. Midazolam is a water-soluble benzodiazepine that is characterized by a rapid onset of action and a shorter duration compared with that of the other drugs of the same class. The major side effect of midazolam is respiratory depression, which can be reversed by flumazenil, a benzodiazepine-specific antagonist. Propofol is a lipid-soluble agent that has the advantages of a more rapid onset of action and a shorter recovery time compared to that of midazolam. However, it should be used with caution since it can lead to hypotension and respiratory depression. Propofol can be safely and effectively administered by nonanesthesiology physicians and nurses provided that they have received adequate training. Two models have been proposed for the administration of propofol by endoscopists: nurse-administered propofol sedation (NAPS) and combination propofol (propofol plus other agents) sedation. In order to modify the pharmacological disadvantages of propofol, fospropofol sodium, a water-soluble prodrug of propofol, has recently been developed. In addition, new delivery systems have been devised: patient-controlled sedation and computer-assisted personalized sedation, in which the computer continuously monitors the patient's condition and adjusts the dose of propofol accordingly. Endoscopists must have a thorough understanding of the medications used for endoscopic sedation and they must acquire the skills necessary for the treatment of cardiopulmonary complications. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a practice guideline pertaining to endoscopic sedation and also training programs for physicians and nurses in Korea.


Conscious sedation; Endoscopy; Midazolam; Propofol; Practice guideline
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