European Journal of Anaesthesiology

Original Article
(RD) Surgery

Does etomidate increase postoperative nausea? A double-blind controlled comparison of etomidate in lipid emulsion with propofol for balanced anaesthesia

M. St Pierre a1c1, M. Dunkel a1, A. Rutherford a1 and W. Hering a1
a1 Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Krankenhausstrasse 12, 91054 Erlangen, Germany

Article author query
st pierre m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dunkel m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rutherford a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hering w   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


In a double-blind randomized study, the incidence and severity of postoperative nausea and vomiting was investigated with a new formulation of etomidate (Etomidate-®Lipuro, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Germany) compared with propofol for induction of a balanced anaesthesia with isoflurane/fentanyl in air.

The incidence and intensity of nausea was examined by use of a visual analogue scale (VAS; 0–100 mm) at 1, 2, between 6 and 8, and 24 h postoperatively. One-hundred-and-sixty-four patients undergoing orthopedic procedures were studied. For etomidate vs. propofol, 14.6% vs. 14.2% male and 26.8% vs. 27.5% female patients were nauseated during the first two postoperative hours. The median rating for nausea remained below 5 mm at any time in both groups, i.e. the intensity of nausea was very low. The incidence of vomiting was higher in women receiving etomidate (26.8% vs. 10%).

We conclude that etomidate does not increase nausea during the early postoperative period.

(Published Online August 16 2006)
(Accepted May 2000)

Key Words: anaesthetic techniques; balanced anaesthesia; heterocyclic compounds; imidazoles; etomidate; organic chemicals; phenols; propofol; postoperative nausea and vomiting.

c1 Correspondence: Michael St Pierre.