Safety of conscious sedation in interventional radiology

Aravind Arepally, Denise Oechsle, Sharon Kirkwood, Scott J. Savader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify rates of adverse events associated with the use of conscious sedation in interventional radiology. Methods: In a 5-month period, prospective data were collected on patients undergoing conscious sedation for interventional radiology procedures (n = 594). Adverse events were categorized as respiratory, sedative, or major adverse events. Respiratory adverse events were those that required oral airway placement, ambu bag, or jaw thrust. Sedation adverse events were unresponsiveness, oxygen saturation less than 90%, use of flumazenil/naloxone, or agitation. Major adverse events were hypotension, intubation, CPR, or cardiac arrest. The frequency of adverse events for the five most common radiology procedures were determined. Results. The five most common procedures (total n = 541) were biliary tube placement/exchange (n = 182), tunneled catheter placement (n = 135), diagnostic arteriography (n = 125), vascular interventions (n = 52), and other catheter insertions (n = 46). Rates for respiratory, sedation, and major adverse events were 4.7%, 4.2%, and 2.0%, respectively. The most frequent major adverse event was hypotension (2.0%). Biliary procedures had the highest rate of total adverse events (p < .05) and respiratory adverse events (p < .05). Conclusion. The frequency of adverse events is low with the use of conscious sedation during interventional procedures. The highest rates occurred during biliary interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 9 2001


  • Analgesia
  • Anesthesia
  • Conscious sedation
  • Interventional radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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