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Propofol and midazolam versus propofol alone for sedation following coronary artery bypass grafting: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Surgical Intensive Care Division, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, SWITZERLAND


The aim was to compare the efficacy and side-effects of propofol combined with a constant, low dose of midazolam versus propofol alone for sedation. In a prospective, randomized and double-blinded study, 60 male patients scheduled for elective coronary bypass grafting were enrolled. Postoperatively, patients were stratified to receive either a continuous intravenous infusion of midazolam 1 mg/h or placebo. Target Ramsay sedation score was 3 to 5 corresponding to conscious sedation. An intention-to-treat design for propofol was performed to reach target sedation. Efficacy of sedation was statistically significantly higher in the group midazolam+intention-to-treat with propofol compared with the group placebo+intention-to-treat with propofol (91% vs 79%; P=0.0005). Nine of 27 patients in the midazolam group (33.4%) and nine of 26 patients in the placebo group (34.6%) needed no supplementary propofol. Weaning time from mechanical ventilation was longer in the midazolam group whether or not they required supplemental propofol when compared with placebo group (all: 432±218 min vs 319±223 min; P=0.04; supplementary propofol: 424±234 min vs 265±175 min; P=0.03). The cumulative number of patients remaining intubated was significantly higher in the group midazolam+propofol compared with the group placebo+propofol (P=0.03). In conclusion, target sedation is reached slightly more often by the co-administration of propofol and a low dose of midazolam, but weaning time from mechanical ventilation is prolonged by the co-administration of propofol and a low dose of midazolam.

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