Outpatient Procedural Sedation of Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorders for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Using Propofol

Pradip P. Kamat, Marie K. Karaga, Benjamin L. Wisniewski, Courtney E. McCracken, Harold K. Simon, Reet Sidhu, Jocelyn R. Grunwell
  • Journal of Child Neurology, February 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0883073817753908

Sedation of patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) undergoing MRI.

What is it about?

It is perceived that patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are difficult to sedate, have more adverse events and make need more resources compared to children without ASD. This article compared children with ASD and those without ASD when sedated for MRI imaging and found there was no difference between the two groups except that 10% of children with ASD required 4 or more care givers (usual is two for non-ASD).

Why is it important?

The prevalence of ASD is 1 in 66 children. A lot of these children get MRI imaging for seizures, headaches etc. These children should be sedated at centers that have expertise dealing with such children.


Pradip Kamat (Author)
Emory University

We can provide better care to patients with ASD when it comes to providing sedation for imaging or other procedures. They don't need general anesthesia for everything but they do need careful planning using child life specialist, coping plans, advance planning, understanding cues that keep the child comfortable etc. Involve the parents in their care right from the get go.

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