Creation of a score to predict risk of high conscious sedation requirements in patients undergoing endoscopy

Published:November 19, 2019DOI:

      Background and Aims

      The administration of intravenous conscious sedation to patients undergoing GI endoscopy carries a risk of cardiopulmonary adverse events. Our study aim was to create a score that stratifies the risk of occurrence of either high-dose conscious sedation requirements or a failed procedure.


      Patients receiving endoscopy via endoscopist-directed conscious sedation were included. The primary outcome was occurrence of sedation failure, which was defined as one of the following: (1) high-dose sedation, (2) the need for benzodiazepine/narcotic reversal agents, (3) nurse-documented poor patient tolerance to the procedure, or (4) aborted procedure. High-dose sedation was defined as >10 mg of midazolam and/or >200 μg of fentanyl or the meperidine equivalent. Patients with sedation failure (n = 488) were matched to controls (n = 976) without a sedation failure by endoscopist and endoscopy date.


      Significant associations with sedation failure were identified for age, sex, nonclonazepam benzodiazepine use, opioid use, and procedure type (EGD, colonoscopy, or both). Based on these 5 variables, we created the high conscious sedation requirements (HCSR) score, which predicted the risk of sedation failure with an area under the curve of 0.70. Compared with the patients with a risk score of 0, risk of a sedation failure was highest for patients with a score ≥3.5 (odds ratio, 17.31; P = 2 × 10−14). Estimated area under the curve of the HCSR score was 0.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.72) in a validation series of 250 cases and 250 controls.


      The HCSR risk score, based on 5 key patient and procedure characteristics, can function as a useful tool for physicians when discussing sedation options with patients before endoscopy.


      AUC (area under the curve), BMI (body mass index), CI (confidence interval), CS (conscious sedation), HCSR (high conscious sedation requirements), MAC (monitored anesthesia care), OR (odds ratio)
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