Antiemetic activity of propofol after sevoflurane and desflurane anesthesia for outpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Dajun Song, Charles W. Whitten, Paul F. White, Song Y. Yu, Eduardo Zarate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: Controversy exists regarding the effectiveness of propofol to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting. This prospective, randomized, single-blinded study was designed to evaluate the antiemetic effectiveness of 0.5 g/kg propofol when administered intravenously after sevoflurane- compared with desflurane-based anesthesia. Methods: Two hundred fifty female outpatients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were assigned randomly to one of four treatment groups. All patients were induced with intravenous doses of 2 mg midazolam, 2 μg/kg fentanyl, and 2 mg/kg propofol and maintained with either 1-4% sevoflurane (groups 1 and 2) or 2-80/0 desflurane (groups 3 and 4) in combination with 65% nitrous oxide in oxygen. At skin closure, patients in groups 1 and 3 were administered 5 ml intravenous saline, and patients in groups 2 and 4 were administered 0.5 mg/kg propofol intravenously. Recovery times were recorded from discontinuation of anesthesia to awakening, orientation, and readiness to be released home. Postoperative nausea and vomiting and requests for antiemetic rescue medication were evaluated during the first 24 h after surgery. Results: Propofol, in an intravenous dose of 0.5 mg/kg, administered at the end of a sevoflurane-nitrous oxide or desflurane-nitrous oxide anesthetic prolonged the times to awakening and orientation by 40-80% and 25-30%, respectively. In group 2 (compared with groups 1, 3, and 4), the incidences of emesis (22% compared with 47%, 53%, and 47%) and requests for antiemetic rescue medication (19% compared with 42%, 50%, and 47%) within the first 6 h after surgery were significantly lower, and the time to home-readiness was significantly shorter in duration (216 ± 50 min vs. 249 ± 49 min, 260 ± 88 min, and 254 ± 72 min, respectively). Conclusions: A subhypnotic intravenous dose of propofol (0.5 mg/kg) administered at the end of outpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures was more effective in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting after a sevoflurane-based (compared with a desflurane-based) anesthetic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-843
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998


  • Anesthetics
  • Gases
  • Intravenous
  • Postoperative emesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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