Background and Objective:

Propofol is commonly used in pediatric sedation, which may cause hypotension during induction. Our goal was to determine the effect of a preinduction 20-mL/kg isotonic fluid bolus on propofol-induced hypotension, assess clinical signs of hypoperfusion during hypotension, and evaluate for age-related propofol dosing differences.


This prospective, randomized, controlled, nonblinded study was conducted at Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Patients were children 6 to 60 months of age who needed sedation for MRI or auditory brainstem-evoked response testing. The treatment group received a preinduction 20-mL/kg isotonic saline bolus before procedure initiation. Patients were continuously monitored via cardiorespiratory monitor with pulse oximetry and end-tidal carbon dioxide measurements. Cardiovascular indices and clinical signs of hypoperfusion were compared between groups, and propofol dosing differences were compared between age groups.


One hundred twenty-six patients were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 52) or control (n = 74) conditions. Twelve patients in the treatment group and 14 patients in the control group experienced postinduction hypotension, as defined by the Pediatric Advanced Life Support guidelines. One patient in each group was given volume resuscitation when blood pressure did not improve after a reduction in the propofol infusion rate. No hypotensive patients had physical signs of hypoperfusion, and patients ≤1 year of age needed significantly more propofol.


A 20-mL/kg preinduction isotonic saline bolus does not prevent propofol-induced hypotension. No clinical signs of hypoperfusion were noted with induced hypotension, and infants ≤12 months old need significantly more propofol per kilogram for procedures.

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