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1.  Sedation in gastrointestinal endoscopy: Current issues 
Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy can successfully be performed by applying moderate (conscious) sedation. Moderate sedation, using midazolam and an opioid, is the standard method of sedation, although propofol is increasingly being used in many countries because the satisfaction of endoscopists with propofol sedation is greater compared with their satisfaction with conventional sedation. Moreover, the use of propofol is currently preferred for the endoscopic sedation of patients with advanced liver disease due to its short biologic half-life and, consequently, its low risk of inducing hepatic encephalopathy. In the future, propofol could become the preferred sedation agent, especially for routine colonoscopy. Midazolam is the benzodiazepine of choice because of its shorter duration of action and better pharmacokinetic profile compared with diazepam. Among opioids, pethidine and fentanyl are the most popular. A number of other substances have been tested in several clinical trials with promising results. Among them, newer opioids, such as remifentanil, enable a faster recovery. The controversy regarding the administration of sedation by an endoscopist or an experienced nurse, as well as the optimal staffing of endoscopy units, continues to be a matter of discussion. Safe sedation in special clinical circumstances, such as in the cases of obese, pregnant, and elderly individuals, as well as patients with chronic lung, renal or liver disease, requires modification of the dose of the drugs used for sedation. In the great majority of patients, sedation under the supervision of a properly trained endoscopist remains the standard practice worldwide. In this review, an overview of the current knowledge concerning sedation during digestive endoscopy will be provided based on the data in the current literature.
PMCID: PMC3558570  PMID: 23382625
Gastrointestinal endoscopy; Endoscopy; Sedation; Analgesia; Digestive system
2.  A survey of the practice of after-hours and emergency endoscopy in Canada 
To determine staffing and practice patterns for after-hours endoscopy service in Canada
A link to a web-based survey was sent by e-mail to all clinical members of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology in February 2011. A priori, it was planned to compare variations in practice among gastroenterologists (GIs) performing endoscopy in different regions of Canada, between pediatric and adult GIs, and between university and community hospitals.
Of 422 potential respondents, 168 (40%) responded. Of the 139 adult GIs, 61% performed after-hours endoscopy in the endoscopy suite where daytime procedures were performed, 62% had a trained endoscopy nurse available for all procedures, 38% had access to propofol sedation, 12% reprocessed the endoscopes themselves or with the help of a resident, 4% had out-of-hospital patients come directly to their endoscopy suite and 53% were highly satisfied. The adult endoscopists practising at community hospitals were more likely to have an anesthetist attend the procedure. Regional differences were noted, with more involvement of anesthetists (13%) and availability of propofol (50%) in Ontario, more frequent reprocessing of endoscopes in the central reprocessing units in British Columbia (78%) and almost universal availability of a trained endoscopy nurse (96%) with concomitant higher endoscopist satisfaction (84% highly satisfied) in Alberta.
More than one-third of surveyed endoscopists across the country do not have a trained endoscopy nurse to assist in after-hours endoscopy – the time period when urgent patients often present and typically require therapeutic endoscopic interventions. There are significant regional differences in the practice of after-hours endoscopy in Canada.
PMCID: PMC3551559  PMID: 23248785
Emergency care; Endoscopy; Staffing; Standards
3.  Bispectral index monitoring as an adjunct to nurse-administered combined sedation during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 
AIM: To determine whether bispectral index (BIS) monitoring is useful for propofol administration for deep sedation during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
METHODS: Fifty-nine consecutive patients with a variety of reasons for ERCP who underwent the procedure at least twice between 1 July 2010 and 30 November 2010. This was a randomized cross-over study, in which each patient underwent ERCP twice, once with BIS monitoring and once with control monitoring. Whether BIS monitoring was done during the first or second ERCP procedure was random. Patients were intermittently administered a mixed regimen including midazolam, pethidine, and propofol by trained nurses. The nurse used a routine practice to monitor sedation using the Modified Observer’s Assessment of Alertness/Sedation (MOAA/S) scale or the BIS monitoring. The total amount of midazolam and propofol used and serious side effects were compared between the BIS and control groups.
RESULTS: The mean total propofol dose administered was 53.1 ± 32.2 mg in the BIS group and 54.9 ± 30.8 mg in the control group (P = 0.673). The individual propofol dose received per minute during the ERCP procedure was 2.90 ± 1.83 mg/min in the BIS group and 3.44 ± 2.04 mg in the control group (P = 0.103). The median value of the MOAA/S score during the maintenance phase of sedation was comparable for the two groups. The mean BIS values throughout the procedure (from insertion to removal of the endoscope) were 76.5 ± 8.7 for all 59 patients in using the BIS monitor. No significant differences in the frequency of < 80% oxygen saturation, hypotension (< 80 mmHg), or bradycardia (< 50 beats/min) were observed between the two study groups. Four cases of poor cooperation occurred, in which the procedure should be stopped to add the propofol dose. After adding the propofol, the procedure could be conducted successfully (one case in the BIS group, three cases in the control group). The endoscopist rated patient sedation as excellent for all patients in both groups. All patients in both groups rated their level of satisfaction as high (no discomfort). During the post-procedural follow-up in the recovery area, no cases of clinically significant hypoxic episodes were recorded in either group. No other postoperative side effects related to sedation were observed in either group.
CONCLUSION: BIS monitoring trend to slighlty reduce the mean propofol dose. Nurse-administered propofol sedation under the supervision of a gastroenterologist may be considered an alternative under anesthesiologist.
PMCID: PMC3501778  PMID: 23180950
Conscious sedation; Bispectral index monitors; Pancreatic neoplasm; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
4.  Risk Factors for Early Colonoscopic Perforation Include Non-Gastroenterologist Endoscopists: a Multivariable Analysis 
Background & Aims
Bowel perforation is a rare but serious complication of colonoscopy. Its prevalence is increasing with the rapidly growing volume of procedures performed. Although colonoscopies have been performed for decades, the risk factors for perforation are not completely understood. We investigated risk factors for perforation during colonoscopy, assessing variables that included sedation type and endoscopist specialty and level of training.
We performed a retrospective multivariate analysis of risk factors for early perforation (occurring at any point during the colonoscopy but recognized during or immediately after the procedure) in adult patients using the Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative National Endoscopic Database. Risk factors were determined from published articles. Additional variables assessed included endoscopist specialty and years of experience, trainee involvement, and sedation with propofol.
We identified 192 perforation events during 1,144,900 colonoscopies from 85 centers entered into the database from January 2000 through March 2011. On multivariate analysis, increasing age, American Society of Anesthesia class, female sex, hospital setting, any therapy, and polyps >10 mm were significantly associated with increased risk of early perforation. Colonoscopies performed by surgeons and endoscopists of unknown specialty had higher rates of perforation than those performed by gastroenterologists (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.30–3.08). Propofol sedation did not significantly affect risk for perforation.
In addition to previously established risk factors, non-gastroenterologist specialty was found to affect risk for perforations detected during or immediately after colonoscopy. This finding could result from differences in volume and style of endoscopy training. Further investigation into these observed associations is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4050305  PMID: 23891916
ASA classification; GI; intestine; quality control; endoscopy training
5.  Age-dependent safety analysis of propofol-based deep sedation for ERCP and EUS procedures at an endoscopy training center in a developing country 
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) procedures in elderly patients are on the rise, and they play an important role in the diagnosis and management of various gastrointestinal diseases. The use of deep sedation in these patients has been established as a safe and effective technique in Western countries; however, it is uncertain if the situation holds true among Asians. The present study aimed to evaluate the age-dependent safety analysis and clinical efficacy of propofol-based deep sedation (PBDS) for ERCP and EUS procedures in adult patients at a World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) Endoscopy Training Center in Thailand.
We undertook a retrospective review of anesthesia or sedation service records of patients who underwent ERCP and EUS procedures. All procedures were performed by staff endoscopists, and all sedations were administered by anesthesia personnel in the endoscopy room.
PBDS was provided for 491 ERCP and EUS procedures. Of these, 252 patients (mean age, 45.1 + 11.1 years, range 17–65 years) were in the <65 age group, 209 patients (mean age, 71.7 + 4.3 years, range 65–80 years) were in the 65–80 year-old group, and 30 patients (mean age, 84.6 + 4.2 years, range 81–97 years) were in the >80 age group. Common indications for the procedures were pancreatic tumor, cholelithiasis, and gastric tumor. Fentanyl, propofol, and midazolam were the most common sedative drugs used in all three groups. The mean doses of propofol and midazolam in the very old patients were relatively lower than in the other groups. The combination of propofol, midazolam, and fentanyl, as well as propofol and fentanyl, were frequently used in all patients. Sedation-related adverse events and procedure-related complications were not statistically significantly different among the three groups. Hypotension was the most common complication.
In the setting of the WGO Endoscopy Training Center in a developing country, PBDS for ERCP and EUS procedures in elderly patients by trained anesthesia personnel with appropriate monitoring is relatively safe and effective. Although adverse cardiovascular events, including hypotension, in this aged group is common, all adverse events were usually transient, mild, and easily treated, with no sequelae.
PMCID: PMC3401056  PMID: 22826640
deep sedation; propofol; endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; endoscopic ultrasonography; elderly; developing country
6.  Carbon dioxide accumulation during analgosedated colonoscopy: Comparison of propofol and midazolam 
AIM: To characterize the profiles of alveolar hypoventilation during colonoscopies performed under sedoanalgesia with a combination of alfentanil and either midazolam or propofol.
METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing routine colonoscopy were randomly assigned to sedation with either propofol or midazolam in an open-labeled design using a titration scheme. All patients received 4 μg/kg per body weight alfentanil for analgesia and 3 L of supplemental oxygen. Oxygen saturation (SpO2) was measured by pulse oximetry (POX), and capnography (PcCO2) was continuously measured using a combined dedicated sensor at the ear lobe. Instances of apnea resulting in measures such as stimulation of the patient, a chin lift, a mask maneuver, or withholding of sedation were recorded. PcCO2 values (as a parameter of sedation-induced hypoventilation) were compared between groups at the following distinct time points: baseline, maximal rise, termination of the procedure and 5 min after termination of the procedure. The number of patients in both study groups who regained baseline PcCO2 values (± 1.5 mmHg) five minutes after the procedure was determined.
RESULTS: A total of 97 patients entered this study. The data from 14 patients were subsequently excluded for clinical procedure-related reasons or for technical problems. Therefore, 83 patients (mean age 62 ± 13 years) were successfully randomized to receive propofol (n = 42) or midazolam (n = 41) for sedation. Most of the patients were classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) II [16 (38%) in the midazolam group and 15 (32%) in the propofol group] and ASA III [14 (33%) and 13 (32%) in the midazolam and propofol groups, respectively]. A mean dose of 5 (4-7) mg of IV midazolam and 131 (70-260) mg of IV propofol was used during the procedure in the corresponding study arms. The mean SpO2 at baseline (%) was 99 ± 1 for the midazolam group and 99 ± 1 for the propofol group. No cases of hypoxemia (SpO2 < 85%) or apnea were recorded. However, an increase in PcCO2 that indicated alveolar hypoventilation occurred in both groups after administration of the first drug and was not detected with pulse oximetry alone. The mean interval between the initiation of sedation and the time when the PcCO2 value increased to more than 2 mmHg was 2.8 ± 1.3 min for midazolam and 2.8 ± 1.1 min for propofol. The mean maximal rise was similar for both drugs: 8.6 ± 3.7 mmHg for midazolam and 7.4 ± 3.2 mmHg for propofol. Five minutes after the end of the procedure, the mean difference from the baseline values was significantly lower for the propofol treatment compared with midazolam (0.9 ± 3.0 mmHg vs 4.3 ± 3.7 mmHg, P = 0.0000169), and significantly more patients in the propofol group had regained their baseline value ± 1.5 mmHg (32 of 41 vs 12 of 42, P = 0.0004).
CONCLUSION: A significantly higher number of patients sedated with propofol had normalized PcCO2 values five minutes after sedation when compared with patients sedated with midazolam.
PMCID: PMC3471107  PMID: 23082055
Colonoscopy; Deep sedation; Propofol; Hypoventilation; Blood gas monitoring; Transcutaneous
7.  Conscious or unconscious: The impact of sedation choice on colon adenoma detection 
AIM: To determine if anesthesiologist-monitored use of propofol results in improved detection of adenomas when compared with routine conscious sedation.
METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted at two separate hospital-based endoscopy units where approximately 12 000 endoscopic procedures are performed annually, with one endoscopy unit exclusively using anesthesiologist-monitored propofol. Three thousand two hundred and fifty-two patients underwent initial screening or surveillance colonoscopies. Our primary end point was the adenoma detection rate, defined as the number of patients in whom at least one adenoma was found, associated with the type of sedation.
RESULTS: Three thousand two hundred and fifty-two outpatient colonoscopies were performed by five selected endoscopists. At least one adenoma was detected in 27.6% of patients (95% CI = 26.0-29.1) with no difference in the detection rate between the anesthesiologist -propofol and group and the gastroenterologist-midazolam/fentanyl group (28.1% vs 27.1%, P = 0.53).
CONCLUSION: The type of sedation used during co-lonoscopy does not affect the number of patients in whom adenomatous polyps are detected.
PMCID: PMC3198020  PMID: 22025879
Sedation; Colonoscopy; Adenoma
8.  Maximizing the general success of cecal intubation during propofol sedation in a multi-endoscopist academic centre 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:123.
Achieving the target of 95% colonoscopy completion rate at centres conducting colorectal screening programs is an important issue. Large centres and teaching hospitals employing endoscopists with different levels of training and expertise risk achieving worse results. Deep sedation with propofol in routine colonoscopy could maximize the results of cecal intubation.
The present study on the experience of a single centre focused on estimating the overall completion rate of colonoscopies performed under routine propofol sedation at a large teaching hospital with many operators involved, and on assessing the factors that influence the success rate of the procedure and how to improve this performance, analyzing the aspects relating to using of deep sedation. Twenty-one endoscopists, classified by their level of specialization in colonoscopic practice, performed 1381 colonoscopies under deep sedation. All actions needed for the anaesthesiologist to restore adequate oxygenation or hemodynamics, even for transient changes, were recorded.
The "crude" overall completion rate was 93.3%. This finding shows that with routine deep sedation, the colonoscopy completion rate nears, but still does not reach, the target performance for colonoscopic screening programs, at centers where colonoscopists of difference experience are employed in such programs.
Factors interfering with cecal intubation were: inadequate colon cleansing, endoscopists' expertise in colonoscopic practice, patients' body weight under 60 kg or age over 71 years, and the need for active intervention by the anaesthesiologist. The most favourable situation - a patient less than 71 years old with a body weight over 60 kg, an adequate bowel preparation, a "highly experienced specialist" performing the test, and no need for active anaesthesiological intervention during the procedure - coincided with a 98.8% probability of the colonoscopy being completed.
With routine deep sedation, the colonoscopy completion rate nears the target performance for colonoscopic screening programs, at centers where colonoscopists of difference experience are employed in such programs. Organizing the daily workload to prevent negative factors affecting the success rate from occurring in combination may enable up to 85% of incomplete procedures to be converted into successful colonoscopies.
PMCID: PMC2975653  PMID: 20961451
9.  Clinical Effectiveness of an Anesthesiologist-Administered Intravenous Sedation Outside of the Main Operating Room for Pediatric Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Thailand 
Objectives. To review our sedation practice and to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of an anesthesiologist-administered intravenous sedation outside of the main operating room for pediatric upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGIE) in Thailand. Subjects and Methods. We undertook a retrospective review of the sedation service records of pediatric patients who underwent UGIE. All endoscopies were performed by a pediatric gastroenterologist. All sedation was administered by staff anesthesiologist or anesthetic personnel. Results. A total of 168 patients (94 boys and 74 girls), with age from 4 months to 12 years, underwent 176 UGIE procedures. Of these, 142 UGIE procedures were performed with intravenous sedation (IVS). The mean sedation time was 23.2 ± 10.0 minutes. Propofol was the most common sedative drugs used. Mean dose of propofol, midazolam and fentanyl was 10.0 ± 7.5 mg/kg/hr, 0.2 ± 0.2 mg/kg/hr, and 2.5 ± 1.2 mcg/kg/hr, respectively. Complications relatively occurred frequently. All sedations were successful. However, two patients became more deeply than intended and required unplanned endotracheal intubation. Conclusion. The study shows the clinical effectiveness of an anesthesiologist-administered IVS outside of the main operating room for pediatric UGIE in Thailand. All complications are relatively high. We recommend the use of more sensitive equipments such as end tidal CO2 and carefully select more appropriate patients.
PMCID: PMC2929513  PMID: 20811603
10.  Propofol use for sedation during endoscopy in adults: A Canadian Association of Gastroenterology position statement 
Over the past decade, multiple clinical reports have demonstrated that the use of propofol sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy by gastroenterologists and trained endoscopy nurses is safe and effective in appropriately selected patients. Proposed benefits of propofol sedation include rapid onset of action, improved patient comfort and rapid clearance, as well as prompt recovery and discharge from the endoscopy unit. As a result of medical evidence, a number of international professional societies have endorsed the use of propofol in gastrointestinal endoscopy. In Canada, no formal guidelines currently exist. In the present article, the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology presents a position statement, incorporating updated information on the use of propofol sedation for endoscopy in adult patients.
PMCID: PMC2660799  PMID: 18478130
Conscious sedation; Endoscopy; Gastrointestinal endoscopy; General anesthesia; Propofol; Sedation
11.  Endoscopic Sedation in Developing and Developed Countries 
Gut and Liver  2008;2(2):105-112.
Data are scarce on endoscopic sedation practices outside the United States and Western Europe, particularly from developing nations. An Internet survey was used to assess endoscopic sedation practices in developing and developed countries.
Responses to a Web-based survey of sedation practices from 165 expert endoscopists from 81 countries were analyzed. The most common sedation method was defined as that used for >50% of endoscopies within a country.
Responses were received from 84 endoscopists practicing in 46 countries (51% response rate; 32 responses from 22 developing countries and 52 responses from 24 developed countries). A combination of benzodiazepine and opioid was the most common method for esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in 40% of the countries and for colonoscopy in 56% of the countries. For propofol and unsedated endoscopy, the corresponding figures were 8% and 19% for EGD and 18% and 10% for colonoscopy. No single sedation method accounted for >50% of EGD and colonoscopy cases in 32% and 17% of the countries, respectively. There were no significant differences in the proportions of developing and developed countries using combined benzodiazepine and opioid, propofol, or unsedated endoscopy.
Sedation is used for most endoscopic procedures worldwide, with sedation practice not differing significantly between developing and developed countries.
PMCID: PMC2871584  PMID: 20485619
Endoscopy; Sedation; Survey
12.  Sedation practices for routine diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in Nigeria 
AIM: To determine the sedation practices and preferences of Nigerian endoscopists for routine diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
METHODS: A structured questionnaire containing questions related to sedation practices and safety procedures was administered to Nigerian gastrointestinal endoscopists at the 2011 annual conference of the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria which was held at Ibadan, June 23-35, 2011.
RESULTS: Of 35 endoscopists who responded, 17 (48.6%) used sedation for less than 25% of procedures, while 14 (40.0%) used sedation for more than 75% of upper gastrointestinal endoscopies. The majority of respondents (22/35 or 62.9%) had less than 5 years experience in gastrointestinal endoscopy. The sedative of choice was benzodiazepine alone in the majority of respondents (85.7%). Opioid use (alone or in combination with benzodiazepines) was reported by only 5 respondents (14.3%). None of the respondents had had any experience with propofol. Non-anaesthesiologist-directed sedation was practiced by 91.4% of endoscopists. Monitoring of oxygen saturation during sedation was practiced by only 57.1% of respondents. Over half of the respondents (18/35 or 51.4%) never used supplemental oxygen for diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
CONCLUSION: Sedation for routine diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in Nigeria is characterized by lack of guidelines, and differs markedly from that in developed countries.
PMCID: PMC3377869  PMID: 22720128
Gastrointestinal endoscopy; Nigeria; Sedation
13.  Endoscopy in primary care--a survey of current practice. 
BACKGROUND: Long waiting lists in district general hospitals and savings from fundholding led to the setting up of a number of endoscopy units in primary care. Concerns have been expressed over safety, supervision and cost effectiveness. Increasingly, general practitioners (GPs) are being encouraged to become specialists and offer intermediate care. Endoscopy is frequently cited as an example of intermediate care that could be offered by primary care specialists. This is the first survey of such a service. AIM: To examine whether endoscopy in primary care can be considered to be a safe procedure. DESIGN OF STUDY: A questionnaire-based survey. SETTING: Twenty-eight general practice units performing endoscopy in primary care. METHOD: Units performing endoscopy in primary care were identified using the Primary Care Society of Gastroenterology (PCSG) database and following an appeal in the GP press. A postal questionnaire was sent to each unit covering its history, throughput, and case-mix, experience of endoscopists, supervision, audit and CME, equipment, waiting times and complication rates. RESULTS: Of the 28 units identified, 27 (96%) replied to the questionnaire, 13 units provided both upper and lower bowel examination, six oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (OGD) only, and eight lower bowel only. Units had been openfor an average of five years (range = 2 to 18 years), and 41 doctors and 68 nurse assistants provided the service. The average experience of endoscopists was 16 years (range = 6 to 25 years), and 36,455 procedures had been performed by the time of the survey (24,195 OGD and 12,260 lower bowel examinations). Ninety-six per cent of the units undertook audit. Urgent waiting times were 1.2 weeks and routine 3.4 weeks (range = 1.0 to 6.0). The annual throughput of 22 units in the past year was 8,478 procedures (4506 OGD, 3,972 lower bowel examinations). Out of 24,195 OGDs there were three reported complications (one perforation of pharyngeal pouch, treated conservatively, one chest pain after over-insufflation, and one slow recovery after intravenous sedation); there was no mortality. Out of 12,260 lower bowel procedures there was one perforated caecal carcinoma after flexible sigmoidoscopy (died), three perforations at colonoscopy and seven other minor complications. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopy in primary care appears to be a safe procedure. This good safety record is probably attributable to careful case selection and minimal use of intravenous sedation.
PMCID: PMC1314353  PMID: 12120723
14.  Comparison between the recovery time of alfentanil and fentanyl in balanced propofol sedation for gastrointestinal and colonoscopy: a prospective, randomized study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:164.
There is increasing interest in balanced propofol sedation (BPS) titrated to moderate sedation (conscious sedation) for endoscopic procedures. However, few controlled studies on BPS targeted to deep sedation for diagnostic endoscopy were found. Alfentanil, a rapid and short-acting synthetic analog of fentanyl, appears to offer clinically significant advantages over fentanyl during outpatient anesthesia.
It is reasonable to hypothesize that low dose of alfentanil used in BPS might also result in more rapid recovery as compared with fentanyl.
A prospective, randomized and double-blinded clinical trial of alfentanil, midazolam and propofol versus fentanyl, midazolam and propofol in 272 outpatients undergoing diagnostic esophagogastroduodenal endoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy for health examination were enrolled. Randomization was achieved by using the computer-generated random sequence. Each combination regimen was titrated to deep sedation. The recovery time, patient satisfaction, safety and the efficacy and cost benefit between groups were compared.
260 participants were analyzed, 129 in alfentanil group and 131 in fentanyl group. There is no significant difference in sex, age, body weight, BMI and ASA distribution between two groups. Also, there is no significant difference in recovery time, satisfaction score from patients, propofol consumption, awake time from sedation, and sedation-related cardiopulmonary complications between two groups. Though deep sedation was targeted, all cardiopulmonary complications were minor and transient (10.8%, 28/260). No serious adverse events including the use of flumazenil, assisted ventilation, permanent injury or death, and temporary or permanent interruption of procedure were found in both groups. However, fentanyl is New Taiwan Dollar (NT$) 103 (approximate US$ 4) cheaper than alfentanil, leading to a significant difference in total cost between two groups.
This randomized, double-blinded clinical trial showed that there is no significant difference in the recovery time, satisfaction score from patients, propofol consumption, awake time from sedation, and sedation-related cardiopulmonary complications between the two most common sedation regimens for EGD and colonoscopy in our hospital. However, fentanyl is NT$103 (US$ 4) cheaper than alfentanil in each case.
Trial registration
Institutional Review Board of Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital (IRB097-18) and Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-TRC-12002575)
PMCID: PMC3607964  PMID: 23170921
Balanced propofol sedation; Alfentanil; Fentanyl; Deep sedation; Diagnostic endoscopy; Cost benefit
15.  Incomplete colonoscopy: Maximizing completion rates of gastroenterologists 
Cecal intubation is one of the goals of a quality colonoscopy; however, many factors increasing the risk of incomplete colonoscopy have been implicated. The implications of missed pathology and the demand on health care resources for return colonoscopies pose a conundrum to many physicians. The optimal course of action after incomplete colonoscopy is unclear.
To assess endoscopic completion rates of previously incomplete colonoscopies, the methods used to complete them and the factors that led to the previous incomplete procedure.
All patients who previously underwent incomplete colonoscopy (2005 to 2010) and were referred to St Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver, British Columbia) were evaluated. Colonoscopies were re-attempted by a single endoscopist. Patient charts were reviewed retrospectively.
A total of 90 patients (29 males) with a mean (± SD) age of 58±13.2 years were included in the analysis. Thirty patients (33%) had their initial colonoscopy performed by a gastroenterologist. Indications for initial colonoscopy included surveillance or screening (23%), abdominal pain (15%), gastrointestinal bleeding (29%), change in bowel habits or constitutional symptoms (18%), anemia (7%) and chronic diarrhea (8%). Reasons for incomplete colonoscopy included poor preparation (11%), pain or inadequate sedation (16%), tortuous colon (30%), diverticular disease (6%), obstructing mass (6%) and stricturing disease (10%). Reasons for incomplete procedures in the remaining 21% of patients were not reported by the referring physician. Eighty-seven (97%) colonoscopies were subsequently completed in a single attempt at the institution. Seventy-six (84%) colonoscopies were performed using routine manoeuvres, patient positioning and a variable-stiffness colonoscope (either standard or pediatric). A standard 160 or 180 series Olympus gastroscope (Olympus, Japan) was used in five patients (6%) to navigate through sigmoid diverticular disease; a pediatric colonoscope was used in six patients (7%) for similar reasons. Repeat colonoscopy on the remaining three patients (3%) failed: all three required surgery for strictures (two had obstructing malignant masses and one had a severe benign obstructing sigmoid diverticular stricture).
Most patients with previous incomplete colonoscopy can undergo a successful repeat colonoscopy at a tertiary care centre with instruments that are readily available to most gastroenterologists. Other modalities for evaluation of the colon should be deferred until a second attempt is made at an expert centre.
PMCID: PMC3441163  PMID: 22993727
Barium enema; Colonoscopy; CT colonography; Double-balloon enteroscopy; Incomplete colonoscopy
16.  Who provides gastrointestinal endoscopy in Canada? 
To determine who provides gastrointestinal endoscopy in Canada and to understand provincial and regional differences in endoscopy providers.
Aggregate physician sociodemographic and activity data for 2002 were obtained from the Canadian Institute of Health Information’s National Physician Database. Physicians were classified as gastroenterologists, general surgeons and others.
In 2002, 1444 physicians, including 735 surgeons, 551 gastroenterologists and 158 others, performed at least 100 colonoscopies or 100 gastroscopies. Gastroenterologists performed 53% of all colonoscopies and 59% of all gastroscopies. Gastroenterologists were the primary providers of colonoscopies in large urban areas, whereas surgeons were the primary providers in smaller urban and rural areas. An average of 317 colonoscopies were performed by surgeons, 516 by gastroenterologists and 203 by other physicians. The proportion of surgeon colonoscopists in each province ranged from 47% to 71%.
Surgeons and gastroenterologists are the major providers of gastrointestinal endoscopy in Canada, but the distribution of these providers among provinces and urban and rural areas varies. Although surgeon endoscopists are more numerous, on average, they perform fewer procedures annually than internists.
PMCID: PMC2658578  PMID: 18080058
Canada; Gastrointestinal endoscopy; Health manpower
17.  Safety and effectiveness using dexmedetomidine versus propofol TCI sedation during oesophagus interventions: a randomized trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:176.
Endoscopic treatment of early neoplastic lesions in oesophagus has evolved as a valid and less invasive alternative to surgical resection. These endoscopic interventions are minimal invasive treatment options usually done with sedation on an outpatient basis. The aim of this trial is to determine the safety and effectiveness of dexmedetomidine sedation compared to the standard used propofol TCI sedation during endoscopic oesophageal interventions.
The study will be performed as a randomized controlled trial. The first 64 consenting patients will be randomized to either the propofol or the dexmedetomidine group. Following endoscopy patients and gastroenterologists have to fill in questionnaires (PSSI, CSSI) (see abbreviations) about their sedation experiences. Additionally, patients have to accomplish the Trieger test before and after the procedure. Patient monitoring includes time adapted HR, SO2, ECG, NIBP, exCO2, NICO, sweat conductance measurement, OAA/S, and the Aldrete score. Effectiveness of sedation, classified by satisfaction levels and pain and sedation score measured by questionnaires is the primary outcome parameter. Respiratory and hemodynamic complications are surrogate parameters for the secondary outcome parameter “safety”.
The acceptance level among patients after propofol sedation is high. Dexmedetomidine is a relatively new representative for procedural sedation. Has this new form of conscious sedation the potential to be safer and more effective for patients and endoscopists than propofol during endoscopic oesophageal interventions?
Trial registration
This trial is registered in the ISRCTN Register (ISRCTN 68599804). It will be conducted in accordance with the protocol and in compliance with the moral, ethical, and scientific principles governing clinical research as set out in the Declaration of Helsinki (1989) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The Departments of Anesthesiology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology of the Academic Medical Center of Amsterdam are responsible for the design and conduct of the trial.
PMCID: PMC3922843  PMID: 24377675
Procedural sedation; Dexmedetomidine; Endoscopic oesophageal intervention
18.  Practice Audit in Gastroenterology (PAGE) program: A novel approach to continuing professional development 
Practice audit is an important component of continuing professional development that may more readily be undertaken if it were less complex. This qualitative study assessed the use of personal digital assistants to facilitate data collection and review.
Personal digital assistants programmed with standard questionnaires related to upper gastrointestinal endoscopies (Practice Audit in Gastroenterology-Endoscopy [‘PAGE-Endo’]) and colonoscopies (PAGE-Colonoscopy [‘PAGE-Colo’]) were provided to Canadian gastroenterologists, surgeons and internists. Over a three-week audit period, participants recorded indications, and the expected (E) and reported (R) findings for each procedure. Thereafter, participants recorded compliance with reporting, the ease of use and value of the PAGE program, and their willingness to perform another audit.
Over 15 to 18 months, 173 participants completed PAGE-Endo (6168 procedures) and 111 completed PAGE-Colo (4776 procedures). Most respondents noted that PAGE was easy to use (99%), beneficial (88% to 95%), and that they were willing undertake another audit (92% to 95%). In PAGE-Endo, alarm features were prevalent (55%), but major reported findings were less common than expected: esophagitis (E 29.9%, R 14.8%), esophageal stricture (E 8.3%, R 3.6%), gastric ulcer (E 17.0%, R 4.7%), gastric cancer (E 4.3%, R 1.0%) and duodenal ulcer (E 11.5%, R 5.7%). In PAGE-Colo, more colonoscopies were performed for symptom investigation (55%) than for screening (25%) or surveillance (20%). There were marked interprovincial variations with respect to sedation, biopsies and technical aspects of colonoscopy.
Secure, real-time data entry with review of aggregate and individual data in the PAGE program provided an acceptable, straightforward methodology for accredited practice audit activities. PAGE has considerable potential for continuing professional development in gastroenterology and other specialties.
PMCID: PMC2659923  PMID: 16779458
Colonoscopy; Continuing medical education; Continuing professional development; Endoscopy; Gastroenterology; Maintenance of certification; Personal digital assistant; Practice audit
19.  Propofol Sedation for ERCP Procedures: A Dilemna? Observations from an Anesthesia Perspective 
Propofol sedation for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures is a popular current technique that has generated controversy in the medical field. Worldwide, both anesthetic and nonanesthetic personnel administer this form of sedation. Although the American and Canadian societies of gastroenterologists have endorsed the administration of propofol by nonanesthesia personnel, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not licensed its use in this manner. There is some evidence for the safe use of propofol by nonanesthetic personnel in patients undergoing endoscopy procedures, but there are few randomized trials addressing the safety and efficacy of propofol in patients undergoing ERCP procedures. A serious possible consequence of propofol sedation in patients is that it may result in rapid and unpredictable progression from deep sedation to general anesthesia, and skilled airway support may be required as a rescue measure. Potential complications following deep propofol sedation include hypoxemia and hypotension. Propofol sedation for ERCP procedures is an area of clinical practice where discussion and mutual cooperation between anesthesia and nonanesthesia personnel may enhance patient safety.
PMCID: PMC3261459  PMID: 22272061
20.  Issues in Endoscopic Sedation 
Gastroenterology & Hepatology  2009;5(8):565-570.
The subject of endoscopic sedation continues to generate controversy and debate. This article provides a critical analysis of several key issues related to sedation that have recently been the focus of intense interest. Monitored anesthesia care (MAC) is currently the dominant method of endoscopic sedation for approximately one third of all US gastroenterologists. The benefits and cost-effectiveness of this approach remain unclear, as outlined in this article. An alternative to MAC is the administration of propofol by a specially trained nurse or endoscopy assistant, working under the direction of an endoscopist. The scientific merits of the arguments presented by both those in favor of, and those opposed to, this practice are evaluated. In addition, the clinical experience with endoscopist-directed propofol and the challenges associated with its implementation are presented. Other options for endoscopic sedation may soon be available. One approach is computer-assisted delivery of propofol, which is performed by a physician/nurse team. The clinical studies related to this device, along with several other novel methods of sedation, are described.
PMCID: PMC2886410
Colonoscopy; endoscopic sedation; fospropofol; propofol; procedural sedation
21.  Fecal Occult Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening 
Executive Summary
The colorectal cancer (CRC) screening project was undertaken by the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) in collaboration with the Cancer Care Ontario (CCO).
In November 2007, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) MAS to conduct an evidence-based analysis of the available data with respect to colorectal cancer diagnosis and prevention. The general purpose of the project was to investigate the effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and safety of the various methods and techniques used for colorectal cancer screening in average risk people, 50 years of age and older.
The options currently offered for colorectal cancer screening were reviewed and five technologies were selected for review:
Computed tomographic (CT) colonography
Magnetic resonance (MR) colonography
Wireless capsule endoscopy (PillCam Colon)
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
Flexible sigmoidoscopy
In this review, colonoscopy was considered as the “gold standard” technique by which the effectiveness of all other modalities could be evaluated. An economic analysis was also conducted to determine cost-effectiveness of different screening modalities.
Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these technologies, as well as summary document that includes an economic analysis, all of which are presented at the MAS Web site:
The objective of this evidence review is to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), including guaiac FOBT (gFOBT) and immunochemical FOBT (iFOBT), for use in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in asymptomatic, average-risk adults.
Is the use of gFOBT or iFOBT associated with a reduction in CRC and overall mortality?
What are the sensitivity and specificity of gFOBT and iFOBT for the detection of 1) CRC and 2) large polyps (≥ 1 cm)?
Clinical Need
CRC is the most common cause of non-tobacco related cancer death in Canada. It has been estimated that in 2007, 7,800 people were diagnosed with CRC in Ontario and 3,250 died from the disease, making the province’s incidence and mortality rate of CRC amongst the highest in the world.
Description of Technology/Therapy
There are two general types of FOBT that are categorized according to the analyte detected: guaiac FOBT (gFOBT) and immunochemical FOBT (iFOBT). Blood in the stool is a nonspecific finding but may originate from CRC or larger (>1 cm) polyps (small adenomatous polyps do not tend to bleed). Bleeding from cancers and larger polyps may be intermittent and not always detectable in a single sample. The FOBT thus requires regular testing that consists of collecting specimens from consecutive bowel movements. A positive gFOBT or iFOBT involves a diagnostic workup with colonoscopy to examine the entire colon in order to rule out the presence of cancer or advanced neoplasia.
Methods of Evidence-Based Analysis
A literature search was conducted from January 2003 to June 2008 that included OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment/Centre for Review and Dissemination.
Inclusion Criteria
Patients at average risk for CRC
All patients must be at least 50 years of age
Biennial FOBT as a screening modality and use of colonoscopy as the reference standard
Systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
Outcomes: CRC mortality, overall mortality, sensitivity, specificity, adverse effects
Exclusion Criteria
Studies involving fewer than 100 patients
Studies that do not report sufficient data for analysis
Comparisons of Interest
Evidence exists for these comparisons of interest:
gFOBT compared with the reference “gold standard” colonoscopy (or double-contrast barium enema where colonoscopy is incomplete or contraindicated)
iFOBT compared with the reference gold standard colonoscopy (or DCBE where colonoscopy is incomplete or contraindicated)
gFOBT compared with iFOBT
The quality of the diagnostic studies was examined according to the ‘GRADE Working Group criteria’ for grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations for diagnostic tests and strategies.
Summary of Findings
Single-Test Studies
There is limited direct/indirect evidence that iFOBT has sensitivity/specificity superior to that of unrehydrated gFOBT for CRC detection:
sensitivity for gFOBT:
pooled iFOBT sensitivity:
There is evidence that iFOBT and gFOBT have lower sensitivities for adenoma detection than for CRC detection:
sensitivity for rehydrated gFOBT
pooled iFOBT sensitivity
Repeated-Test Studies
No trials have examined CRC mortality outcomes after repeated testing of iFOBT.
Two RCTs from the United Kingdom and Denmark showed significant reduction in CRC mortality using unrehydrated gFOBT biennially
Relative risk reductions of 13% (UK trial) and 16% (Danish trial); absolute difference of 0.1% (UK trial) and 0.2% (Danish trial).
No significant reduction in overall mortality
Interval cancers (CRC that develop in the intervals between routine screening)
United Kingdom trial: 236 CRCs detected by positive test, 236 interval CRCs after negative test
Danish trial: 120 CRCs detected by positive test, 146 interval CRCs after negative test
Unrehydrated gFOBT has low sensitivity for CRC detection (45% in the UK trial and 54% in the Danish trial).
true positive rate
false positive rate
true negative rate
false negative rate
Guaiac FOBT – GRADE Quality of Evidence for Interventions
CRC indicates colorectal cancer; FOBT, fecal occult blood test; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation; RCT, randomized controlled trial.
Unlikely to be an important uncertainty.
GRADE Quality of Evidence for Diagnostic Tests: Implications of Testing Focusing on Accuracy
Benefit from diagnosis and treatment after confirmatory colonoscopy
Small risk of bowel perforation during colonoscopy
Benefit of reassurance
Anxiety/worry leading up to confirmatory colonoscopy
Small risk of bowel perforation during confirmatory colonoscopy
Detriment from delayed diagnosis
Some uncertainty (until after confirmatory colonoscopy)
No Uncertainty
FOBT indicates fecal occult blood test; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation.
Immunochemical FOBT – GRADE Quality of Evidence for Diagnostic Studies
FN indicates false negative; FOBT, fecal occult blood test; FP, false positive; Development and Evaluation; TN, true negative; TP, true positive.
Uncertainty until after confirmatory colonoscopy
Stress/worry for patient until confirmatory colonoscopy
Detrimental effects due to delayed diagnosis.
For these 3 reasons, downgrade quality from High to Moderate.
For these 3 reasons, downgrade quality from Moderate to Low.
Considerations for the Ontario Health System
Executive Summary Table 4 shows the potential system pressures and benefit/risk analysis for the use of FOBT and colonoscopy to screen for CRC in average-risk adults, ages 50 and over in Ontario.
Summary of Potential System Pressures for FOBT Screening
Prevent and detect
Every 10 years
Must repeat at regular intervals
Every 2 years
Must repeat at regular intervals
Observational studies
Used as gold standard in studies
Intervention GRADE quality: High (gFOBT)
Diagnostic GRADE quality: Low (iFOBT)
No RCTs examining the effectiveness of repeated iFOBT on CRC mortality reduction were identified
Limited direct/indirect evidence that iFOBT has superior sensitivity/specificity to unrehydrated gFOBT for detection of CRC
0.1% risk of serious bleeding and perforation requiring surgery
0.3% risk of serious complications (stroke/bleeding requiring hospitalization/ myocardial infarction)
High interval cancer rate
The small benefit in CRC mortality reduction (absolute difference 0.1% to 0.2%) also coincides with a 0.3% risk of serious complications.
No food 1 day prior to exam
Office/hospital visit
Complete bowel preparation
Eliminate citrus fruit and juices and vitamin C from diet for 3 days prior to/during stool collection.
Person applies 2 samples per bowel movement (each occurring on 3 different days) onto test areas of FOBT cards.
Increased demand for colonoscopies and colonoscopists or nurses who perform colonoscopies.
Patient receives kit from family physician, pharmacist
Patients mail completed FOBT kit to participating laboratory
Results sent back to patient
Increased demand for colonoscopies for positive patients
Removal of polyp during colonoscopy or surgery
Referral to colonoscopy
2nd of 5 choices in a patient survey study
5th of 5 choices in a patient survey study
FOBT indicates fecal occult blood test;; gFOBT, guaiac FOBT; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation; iFOBT, immunochemical FOBT; RCT, randomized controlled trial.
PMCID: PMC3377532  PMID: 23074514
22.  Conscious sedation: A dying practice? 
Sedation practices vary according to countries with different health system regulations, the procedures done, and local circumstances. Interestingly, differences in the setting in which the practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy takes place (university-based vs academic practice) as well as other systematic practice differences influence the attitude of endoscopists concerning sedation practices. Conscious sedation using midazolam and opioids is the current standard method of sedation in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy. Interestingly, propofol is a commonly preferred sedation method by endoscopists due to higher satisfaction rates along with its short half-life and thus lower risk of hepatic encephalopathy. On the other hand, midazolam is the benzodiazepine of choice because of its shorter duration of action and better pharmacokinetic profile compared with diazepam. The administration of sedation under the supervision of a properly trained endoscopist could become the standard practice and the urgent development of an updated international consensus regarding the use of sedative agents like propofol is needed.
PMCID: PMC3725392  PMID: 23901243
Sedation; Conscious; Endoscopy; Propofol; Fentanyl; Meperidine
23.  Canadian physicians’ choices for their own colon cancer screening 
Compliance with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Canada is low. The aim of the present survey was to determine whether Canadian physicians older than 50 years were pursuing colon cancer screening. Specifically, physicians were asked to identify their modality of choice and identify their barriers to screening.
Surveys were mailed to members, older than 50 years, of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine, the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Association of Radiologists.
Of 2807 surveys, 46% were returned. Screening for CRC was reported by 53% of respondents. The Canadian Association of Radiologists members (61%) and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology members (61%) were more likely to be screened than other specialties (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively). Members of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (44%) were least likely to be screened (P<0.001). Men (P<0.001) and Ontario physicians (P<0.01) were more likely to be screened than women and Canadian physicians from other provinces, respectively. Colonoscopy (56%) was the most common screening modality used, followed by fecal occult blood testing (27%). Respondents who had not been screened cited a lack of personal time (47%) and insufficient data to warrant screening (14%).
More than one-half of all respondents were screened for CRC. Colonoscopy is the most common screening modality used. Lack of time is the most common reason cited for not participating in CRC screening.
PMCID: PMC2659906  PMID: 16609758
Colon cancer; Screening
24.  Difficult colonoscopies in the propofol era 
BMC Surgery  2012;12(Suppl 1):S9.
To study the relationship between endoscopic practice and adverse events during colonoscopy under standard deep sedation induced and monitored by an anesthetist.
We investigated the routine activity of an endoscopy center at the Padova University teaching hospital. We considered not only endoscopic and cardiorespiratory complications, but also the need to use high-dose propofol to complete the procedure, and the inability to complete the procedure. Variables relating to the patient’s clinical conditions, bowel preparation, the endoscopist’s and the anesthetist’s experience, and the duration of the procedure were input in the model.
617 procedures under deep sedation were performed with a 5% rate of adverse events. The average dose of propofol used was 2.6±1.2 mg/kg. In all, 14 endoscopists and 42 anesthetists were involved in the procedures. The logistic regression analysis identified female gender (OR=2.3), having the colonoscopy performed by a less experienced endoscopist (OR=1.9), inadequate bowel preparation (OR=3.2) and a procedure lasting longer than 17.5 minutes (OR=1.6) as the main risk factors for complications. An ASA score of 2 carried a 50% risk reduction (OR=0.5).
Discussion and conclusions
Our model showed that none of the variables relating to anesthesiological issues influenced which procedures would prove difficult.
PMCID: PMC3499204  PMID: 23173918
25.  Is there a place for sedationless colonoscopy? 
Usedated colonoscopy is routinely available in many parts of the world. In the US, only educated professionals appear to be knowledgeable enough to request the unsedated option. Colonoscopists have also been willing to perform unsedated colonoscopy when a patient presents without an escort after undergoing bowel purge preparation. While the actual side-effects of sedation are minimal, the escort requirement and time burden of sedation are barriers to the uptake of screening colonoscopy in the US. The recent trend of deep sedation with propofol for screening colonoscopy increases the efficiency of the colonoscopists at significant costs (e.g. anesthetist reimbursement). The options of as needed and on demand sedation permit patients to complete colonoscopy without sedation. The latter appears to be potentially less coercive. Nurses with experience in the unsedated options recognize the benefit of the quick turn-around of the examination room and shortened occupancy of the recovery area. Discharge planning can be optimized due to absence of amnesia. Patients completing unsedated colonoscopy have given their endorsement of the options. Pain and discomfort continue to limit the success rate of cecal intubation to about 80%. A recently described water method (warm water infusion in lieu of air insufflation combined with removal of all residual colonic air by suction and residual feces by water exchange) has the potential of decreasing procedural discomfort and enhancing cecal intubation in unsedated colonoscopy. The availability of the novel water method assures colonoscopists that high success rate of cecal intubation can be achieved in the unsedated patients.
PMCID: PMC3109472  PMID: 21686108
colonoscopy; unsedated; sedationless; water method

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