Breathing variability during propofol/remifentanil procedural sedation with a single additional dose of midazolam or s-ketamine: a prospective observational study

OFC van den Bosch, R Alvarez Jimenez, Kasper Delfsma, Steffen G. Schet, SA Loer

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Regulation of spontaneous breathing is highly complex and may be influenced by drugs administered during the perioperative period. Because of their different pharmacological properties we hypothesized that midazolam and s-ketamine exert different effects on the variability of minute ventilation (MV), tidal volume (TV) and respiratory rate (RR).

Patients undergoing procedural sedation (PSA) with propofol and remifentanil received a single dose of midazolam (1–3 mg, n = 10) or s-ketamine (10–25 mg, n = 10). We used non-invasive impedance-based respiratory volume monitoring to record RR as well as changes in TV and MV. Variability of these three parameters was calculated as coefficients of variation.

TV and MV decreased during PSA to a comparable extent in both groups, whereas there was no significant change in RR. In line with our hypothesis we observed marked differences in breathing variability. The variability of MV (– 47.5% ± 24.8%, p = 0.011), TV (– 42.1% ± 30.2%, p = 0.003), and RR (– 28.5% ± 29.3%, p = 0.011) was significantly reduced in patients receiving midazolam. In contrast, variability remained unchanged in patients receiving s-ketamine (MV + 16% ± 45.2%, p = 0.182; TV +12% ± 47.7%, p = 0.390; RR +39% ± 65.2%, p = 0.129). After termination of PSA breathing variables returned to baseline values.

While midazolam reduces respiratory variability in spontaneously breathing patients undergoing procedural sedation, s-ketamine preserves variability suggesting different effects on the regulation of spontaneous breathing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical monitoring and computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Breathing variability
  • Midazolam
  • Procedural sedation
  • Respiratory volume monitoring
  • s-Ketamine

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