Reducing the pain of microemulsion propofol injections: A double-blind, randomized study of three methods of tourniquet and lidocaine

Kyungjong Kim, Young Sung Kim, Dong Kyu Lee, Byung Gun Lim, Hee Zoo Kim, Myoung Hoon Kong, Nan Suk Kim, Il Ok Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background Although the new formulation of lipid-free microemulsion propofol (MP) has some advantages over the lipid emulsion, it reportedly produces more injection pain than lipid-based propofol. Intravenous lidocaine with application of a rubber tourniquet before administration of propofol is considered to be the best method for reducing injection pain; however, this technique is not perfect. Objective The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of different methods of tourniquet application and lidocaine administration on MP injection pain. Methods This single-center, randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in 140 patients aged 18 to 65 years. Patients were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 35 each). Group A received MP (2 mg/kg) after lidocaine (0.6 mg/kg) with a tourniquet with arm down (venous engorgement); group B received MP after lidocaine with a tourniquet with arm up (venous gravity drainage); group C received MP with a tourniquet with arm down; and group D (control group) received MP only (with no tourniquet). In groups A and C, the tourniquet was released after MP; in group B, the tourniquet was released before MP. Injection pain was evaluated by using a verbal pain score (VPS). The bispectral index, the time from the beginning of drug injection to the loss of eyelash reflex, and time to the lowest bispectral index value were recorded. Results Group A showed significantly less incidence of pain than the control group when MP was injected. The mean VPS was significantly lower in groups A, B, and C than in group D (the control group). The VPS of group A was significantly lower than that in group B. Other observed values were not significantly different. Conclusions We concluded that intravenous retention of lidocaine with the application of a rubber tourniquet under venous engorgement of the arm reduces the incidence and intensity of MP injection pain. Clinical trial registry: UMIN000010725.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1734-1743
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • injection pain
  • lidocaine
  • microemulsion propofol
  • tourniquet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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