Propofol Frenzy: Clinical Spectrum in 3 Patients

Diego Z. Carvalho, Ryan A. Townley, Christopher M. Burkle, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Postsedation neuroexcitation is sometimes attributed to intravenous injection of the sedative-hypnotic drug propofol. The movements associated with these events have strongly suggested convulsive activity, but they rarely have been comprehensively evaluated. We present video recordings of 3 healthy young patients who underwent elective surgery under conscious sedation and emerged from sedation with transient but repetitive violent motor activity and impaired consciousness. These manifestations required considerable mobilization of multiple health care workers to protect the patient from inflicting harm. All patients received propofol, and all fully recovered without adverse sequelae. We postulate that these movements are propofol related. Importantly, we found no evidence of seizures clinically or electrographically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1682-1687
Number of pages6
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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