Outpatient Procedural Sedation of Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorders for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Using Propofol

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To quantify the number of personnel, time to induce and complete sedation using propofol for outpatient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, and the frequency of serious adverse events (SAEs) in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with children without ASD.


Baseline characteristics were the same between both groups. Overall sedation success was 99%. Although most children were sedated with ≤3 providers, 10% with ASD needed ≥4 providers (P = .005). The duration of sedation was less for the ASD group compared with the non-ASD group (49 minutes vs 56 minutes, P = .005). There was no difference in SAE frequency between groups (ASD 14% vs non-ASD 16%, P = .57).


Children with ASD can be sedated for brain MRI using propofol with no increased frequency of SAEs compared with children without ASD. Sedation teams should anticipate that 10% of children with ASD may need additional personnel before propofol induction.

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