Article Text

Paradigm shift: should the elderly undergo propofol sedation for DBE? A prospective cohort study
  1. Hey-Long Ching1,
  2. Federica Branchi2,
  3. David S Sanders1,
  4. David Turnbull3,
  5. Reena Sidhu1
  1. 1 Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Milano, Italy
  3. 3 Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hey-Long Ching, Clinical Research Fellow, Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, S10 2JF, UK; hey-long.ching{at}


Objective Evaluate the safety of propofol-assisted double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) in elderly patients against a younger cohort.

Design Prospective cohort study

Setting All patients undergoing DBE over a 30-month period were recruited at our tertiary centre.

Patients 215 procedures in 161 patients were performed. An age cut-off of 65 years and above was used to define those who were elderly.

Interventions Patients were subcategorised into four groups: elderly or young undergoing DBE with propofol or conventional sedation (with midazolam±fentanyl).

Main outcome measures Patient demographics, comorbidities, procedural data, complications, diagnostic and therapeutic yield were compared.

Results Cardiovascular disease and a higher American Society of Anaethesiologists (ASA) status were more prevalent in elderly patients undergoing DBE with propofol (p<0.05). Common indications for DBE were occult and overt obscure gastrointestinal bleeding and suspected Crohn’s disease (elderly vs young: 50.7% vs 42.3%, 17.8% vs 12% and 19.2% vs 26.1%, respectively). Diagnostic yield was higher in elderly compared with young patients (75.3% vs 58.5%, p=0.016). The most common findings in elderly and young patients were angioectasia (30.1% and. 18.3%, respectively) and ulcers (17.8% and 9.2%, respectively), while therapeutic intervention rates were comparable (42.5% vs 32.4%, p=0.18). ASA status did not affect propofol dose (p=0.55) or procedure duration (p=0.31). Tolerance scores were favourable in those receiving propofol compared with conventional sedation (p<0.05). There was no difference in complications between the four groups (p=0.17).

Conclusion Compared with young patients, propofol-assisted DBE in the elderly is safe and has a high diagnostic yield.

  • double balloon enteroscopy
  • DBE
  • device assisted enteroscopy
  • advanced endoscopy
  • elderly
  • propofol
  • sedation
  • anaesthesia
  • safety

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  • Contributors RS designed the study, assisted with interpretation of results and critically appraised the manuscript. H-LC performed data collection, led the analysis of data and drafted the manuscript. FB, DSS and DT performed data collection and critically appraised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript. H-LC is guarantor.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was registered and approved as service evaluation with the Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (registration number 7073).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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