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Clinical trial: a randomized, study comparing meperidine (pethidine) and fentanyl in adult gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Author(s): Robertson DJ, Jacobs DP, Mackenzie TA, Oringer JA, Rothstein RI

Affiliation(s): VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT 05009, USA. douglas.robertson@med.va.gov

Publication date & source: 2009-04-15, Aliment Pharmacol Ther., 29(8):817-23. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

BACKGROUND: There is little evidence to guide choice between meperidine (pethidine) and fentanyl for sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy. AIM: To compare meperidine with fentanyl in terms of procedure time and analgesia. METHODS: Single centre randomized controlled trial. Patients received narcotic doses and midazolam at the discretion of the attending endoscopist who was unaware of narcotic assignment. Endoscopy and recovery times were then recorded. The main outcome was total procedure time, defined as endoscopy time plus recovery time. Patient discomfort was assessed prior to discharge via visual analogue scale (VAS). RESULTS: In total, 55 patients were randomized to meperidine [44 colonoscopy and 11 esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)] and 56 to fentanyl (45 colonoscopy and 11 EGD). Total procedure time was shorter for those receiving fentanyl (mean = 87.7 min) than for those receiving meperidine (mean = 102.9 min) (P = 0.05). The difference between the groups was explained by a shorter mean recovery time in the fentanyl group (63.0 min) than in the meperidine group (76.2 min) (P = 0.07). Based on post procedure pain scores, examinations with meperidine (mean = 1.99) were less painful when compared with those receiving fentanyl (mean = 2.86, P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Fentanyl shortened total procedure time by reducing recovery time. A simple change in narcotic choice could increase endoscopy unit efficiency.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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