Patient-administered nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation provides effective sedation and analgesia for colonoscopy

Brian P. Saunders, Manabu Fukumoto, Steven Halligan, Tadahiko Masaki, Sharon Love, Christopher B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of patients undergoing colonoscopy, sedation with an inhaled mixture of nitrous oxide/oxygen was compared with conventional intravenous sedation (pethidine 50 mg, midazolam 2.5 mg). In the patients studied, no significant differences were noted in number of pain episodes, need for additional intravenous sedation, or patient pain scores between the group receiving the nitrous oxide/oxygen mixture (n = 30) and those managed with conventional benzodiazepine/opiate injection (n = 29). Both methods were significantly more effective than placebo (n = 30). Six patients in the benzodiazepine/opiate group had oxygen desaturation, whereas none did in the nitrous oxide/oxygen group. Duration of stay after the procedure was significantly shorter in the gas inhalation group than in those receiving conventional intravenous sedation. Except for patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation is a safe and acceptable alternative method of sedation and analgesia during colonoscopy. (Gastrointest Endosc 1994;40:418-21.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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