Doxapram Alleviates Low SpO2 Induced by the Combination of Propofol and Fentanyl During Painless Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Zhengfeng Gu; Lian Xin; Haoxing Wang; Chunxiao Hu; Zhiping Wang; Shunmei Lu; Jingjing Xu; Yiling Qian; Jun Wang


BMC Anesthesiol. 2019;19(216) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Painless gastrointestinal endoscopy under intravenous propofol anesthesia is widely applied in the clinical scenario. Despite the good sedation and elimination of anxiety that propofol provides, low SpO2 may also result. Doxapram is a respiratory stimulant with a short half-life. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of doxapram on alleviating low SpO2 induced by the combination of propofol and fentanyl during painless gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Methods: In this prospective study, patients scheduled for painless gastrointestinal endoscopy were randomly assigned to group D or S with 55 patients per group. Initially, both groups received a combination of propofol and fentanyl. Patients in group D received 50 mg doxapram after propofol injection, while patients in group S received an equal volume of saline. Vital signs of the patients, propofol dose, examination duration, and incidences of low SpO2 were recorded.

Results: There were no statistical differences in propofol consumption and examination duration between the two groups. Twenty-six patients in group S experienced low SpO2 versus 10 in group D (P = 0.001). Nineteen patients in group S underwent oxygenation with a face mask in contrast to 8 in group D (P = 0.015). Eighteen patients in group S were treated with jaw lifting compared to 5 in group D (P = 0.002). Four patients in group S underwent assisted respiration compared to 2 in group D (without statistical difference). The average oxygen saturation in group S was significantly lower than that in group D at 1, 2 and 3 min after propofol injection (P < 0.001, P = 0.001 and P = 0.020, respectively). There were no statistical differences in oxygen saturation at other time points. There were no statistical differences in MAP and HR (except for the time point of 1 min after the induction) between the two groups.

Conclusions: Low dose of doxapram can effectively alleviate low SpO2 in painless gastrointestinal endoscopy with intravenous propofol, without affecting propofol consumption, examination duration, MAP, or HR.