The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of propofol were studied in 50 surgical patients. Propofol was administered as a bolus dose, 2 mg/kg iv, followed by a variable-rate infusion, 0-20 mg/min, and intermittent supplemental boluses, 10-20 mg iv, as part of a general anesthetic technique that included nitrous oxide, meperidine, and muscle relaxants. For a majority of the patients (n = 30), the pharmacokinetics of propofol were best described by a two-compartment model. The propofol mean total body clearance rate was 2.09 +/- 0.65 1/min (mean [middle dot] SD), the volume of distribution at steady state was 159 +/- 57 I, and the elimination half-life was 116 +/- 34 min. Elderly patients (patients older than 60 yr vs. those younger than 60 yr) had significantly decreased clearance rates (1.58 +/- 0.42 vs. 2.19 +/- 0.64 1/min), whereas women (vs. men) had greater clearance rates (33 +/- 8 vs. 26 +/- 7 1 [middle dot] kg-1 [middle dot] min-1) and volumes of distribution (2.50 +/- 0.81 vs. 2.05 +/- 0.65 1/kg). Patients undergoing major (intraabdominal) surgery had longer elimination half-life values (136 +/- 40 vs. 108 +/- 29 min). Patients required an average blood propofol concentration of 4.05 +/- 1.01 [mu]g/ml for major surgery and 2.97 +/- 1.07 [mu]g/ml for nonmajor surgery. Blood propofol concentrations at which 50% of patients (EC50) were awake and oriented after surgery were 1.07 and 0.95 [mu]g/ml, respectively. Psychomotor performance returned to baseline at blood propofol concentrations of 0.38-0.43 [mu]g/ml (EC50). This clinical study demonstrates the feasibility of performing pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses when complex infusion and bolus regimens are used for administering iv anesthetics.
(C) 1988 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.