Target-controlled infusion (TCI) provides precise pharmacokinetic control of propofol concentration in the effect-site (Ce), eg. brain. This pilot study aims to evaluate the feasibility and optimal TCI regimen for flexible bronchoscopy (FB) sedation.
After alfentanil bolus, initial induction Ce of propofol was targeted at 2 μg/ml. Patients were randomized into three titration groups (i.e., by 0.5, 0.2 and 0.1 μg/ml, respectively) to maintain stable sedation levels and vital signs. Adverse events, frequency of adjustments, drug doses, and induction and recovery times were recorded.
The study was closed early due to significantly severe hypoxemia events (oxyhemoglobin saturation <70%) in the group titrated at 0.5 μg/ml. Forty-nine, 49 and 46 patients were enrolled into the 3 respective groups before study closure. The proportion of patients with hypoxemia events differed significantly between groups (67.3 vs. 46.9 vs. 41.3%, p = 0.027). Hypotension events, induction and recovery time and propofol doses were not different. The Ce of induction differed significantly between groups (2.4±0.5 vs. 2.1±0.4 vs. 2.1±0.3 μg/ml, p = 0.005) and the Ce of procedures was higher at 0.5 μg/ml titration (2.4±0.5 vs. 2.1±0.4 vs. 2.2±0.3 μg/ml, p = 0.006). The adjustment frequency tended to be higher for titration at 0.1 μg/ml but was not statistically significant (2 (0∼6) vs. 3 (0∼6) vs. 3 (0∼11)). Subgroup analysis revealed 14% of all patients required no further adjustment during the whole sedation. Comparing patients requiring at least one adjustment with those who did not, they were observed to have a shorter induction time (87.6±34.9 vs. 226.9±147.9 sec, p<0.001), a smaller induction dose and Ce (32.5±4.1 vs. 56.8±22.7 mg, p<0.001; 1.76±0.17 vs. 2.28 ±0.41, p<0.001, respectively), and less hypoxemia and hypotension (15.8 vs.56.9%, p = 0.001; 0 vs. 24.1%, p = 0.008, respectively).
Titration at 0.5 μg/ml is risky for FB sedation. A subgroup of patients required no more TCI adjustment with fewer complications. Further studies are warranted to determine the optimal regimen of TCI for FB sedation.