Ketamine-Propofol Versus Propofol Alone for Procedural Sedation in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Justin W Yan, Shelley L McLeod, Alla Iansavitchene
Academic Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2015, 22 (9): 1003-13

OBJECTIVES: Propofol is an agent commonly used for procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) in the emergency department (ED), but it can cause respiratory depression and hypotension. The combination of ketamine-propofol (K-P) is an alternative that theoretically provides a reduction in adverse events compared to propofol. The primary objective of this review was to determine if K-P has a lower frequency of adverse respiratory events in patients undergoing PSA in the ED than propofol alone. Secondary objectives were to compare the proportion of overall adverse events, sedation time, procedure time, and recovery time between K-P and propofol.

METHODS: Electronic searches of Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL were conducted and reference lists were hand-searched. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in English comparing the use of K-P to propofol alone for PSA in the ED were included.

RESULTS: Six RCTs were included with a combined total of 932 patients (K-P = 520, propofol = 412). Five RCTs reported the proportion of adverse respiratory events; the pooled estimate revealed fewer adverse respiratory events with K-P compared to propofol (29.0% vs. 35.4%; risk ratio [RR] = 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.68 to 0.99). There was no significant difference with respect to the proportion of overall adverse events (38.8% vs. 42.5%; RR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.75 to 1.04). Procedure time was similar when the groups were compared.

CONCLUSIONS: The premise of combining ketamine with propofol is based on the many synergies that theoretically exist between these two agents. In this study, K-P had a lower frequency of adverse respiratory events in patients undergoing PSA in the ED compared to propofol alone.

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