Procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) for diagnostic and minimally invasive therapeutic procedures has become common practice in children of all ages. Based on our clinical experience, we suspected an inverse relation between age and dosage. However, a schedule for age-stratified propofol induction and maintenance dosage for PSA was not available and could be helpful to many anesthesiologists as a reference.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of children who received procedural sedation at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ), a tertiary pediatric hospital part of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), between June 2007 and December 2020. We studied whether the induction (mg·kg−1) and maintenance (mg·kg−1·h−1) dosage is age-dependent using linear regression models.


A total of 6438 pediatric procedures were retrieved from Anesthesia Information Management Systems (AIMS). A total of 5567 records were available for induction dose analysis and 5420 records for analysis of the maintenance dose. After adjustment for sex, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification, opioid administration, and diagnostic or interventional, we obtained a coefficient of −0.11 (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.12 to −0.11) for age (years) from a multivariable linear regression model for propofol induction dosage (mg·kg−1) and a coefficient of −0.36 (95% CI, −0.39 to −0.34) for age (years) for propofol maintenance dosage.


We found a noteworthy inverse age-effect on propofol dosage for both induction and maintenance of pediatric procedural sedation. Furthermore, our study revealed that remarkably higher propofol sedation doses were needed for infants and toddlers than previously expected and reported.

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van Dijk, Hendriks, van Eck-Smaling, van Wolfswinkel, & van Loon.
Anesthesia & Analgesia March 2023