A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study of Lorazepam as Premedication for Bronchoscopy*


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Abstract

To our knowledge, no study has clearly demonstrated the advantage of sedative premedication for bronchoscopy.In a double-blind study, we evaluated the efficacy of oral lorazepam as premedication for bronchoscopy. One hundred patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo (group A) or lorazepam (2 mg) (group B) approximately 1.5 h before bronchoscopy. Immediately after the procedure and the following day, a questionnaire addressing the patient's perception of the procedure was administered. Specifically, subjects were asked to grade the bronchoscopy as very easy, easy, difficult, or very difficult to tolerate and if they would agree to a second bronchoscopy if believed necessary. In addition, their recollection of the procedure was graded as clear, indistinct, or not at all. No difference was found between the two groups for age, duration of the bronchoscopy, and the answers to the questionnaire administered immediately after the procedure. Most patients from both groups found their level of sedation adequate. On the following day, however, group B reported with lower frequency that the technique was difficult or very difficult (38.0% vs 65.3% for group A; p<0.005) and that they would be less reluctant to a repeated bronchoscopy (30.0% vs 57.1% for group A; p<0.015). Moreover, their recollection of the procedure was now less precise than for those who had received the placebo (p<0.005). This suggests that the difference observed between the two groups at 24 h was related to the amnesic effect of lorazepam. We conclude that lorazepam, by improving patient's perception of the bronchoscopy, is a useful premedication and may facilitate patient's investigation when a second bronchoscopy becomes necessary.(CHEST 1996; 109:1195-98)

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