• Anaesthetics;
  • intravenous;
  • propofol


In this study, we evaluated safety and recovery using a patient maintained, target controlled infusion of propofol for sedation in 20 patients undergoing colonoscopy. Using a handset with a two-minute lockout interval, patients could make 0.2 µ−1 increments to an initial target plasma concentration of 1 µ−1 up to a maximum 4.5 µ−1. Four patients became oversedated but required no airway or circulatory interventions. Subjects had a significant reduction in mean (SD) heart rate: 78.7 (15) vs. 69.8 (13.5) (p < 0.001) and in systolic blood pressure 121.1 (13.2) mmHg vs. 96.5 (8.6) mmHg (p < 0.001). Choice reaction time testing 15 min after colonoscopy showed a significant median (IQR [range]) rise of 162 (− 16, 383.3 [-199–859]) ms (p < 0.05). Six patients had faster reaction times postcolonoscopy. All patients denied unpleasant recall and were satisfied with the system. Although oversedation was a problem in this model, we conclude that patient maintained propofol sedation could be possible for colonoscopy.