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Propofol infusion syndrome

Abstract

Propofol infusion syndrome (PRIS) is a rare syndrome which affects patients undergoing long-term treatment with high doses of the anaesthetic and sedative drug propofol. It can lead to cardiac failure, rhabdomyolysis, metabolic acidosis, and kidney failure, and is often fatal. High blood potassium, high blood triglycerides, and liver enlargement, proposed to be caused by either "a direct mitochondrial respiratory chain inhibition or impaired mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism" are also key features. It is associated with high doses and long-term use of propofol (> 4 mg/kg/h for more than 24 hours). It occurs more commonly in children, and critically ill patients receiving catecholamines and glucocorticoids are at high risk. Treatment is supportive. Early recognition of the syndrome and discontinuation of the propofol infusion reduces morbidity and mortality.