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Potential impact of propofol immediately after motor vehicle accident on later symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder at 6-month follow up: a retrospective cohort study

Masato Usuki1234, Yutaka Matsuoka1235*, Daisuke Nishi1234, Naohiro Yonemoto35, Kenta Matsumura13, Yasuhiro Otomo6, Yoshiharu Kim1 and Shigenobu Kanba4

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8553, Japan

2 Department of Psychiatry, National Disaster Medical Center, Tokyo 190-0014, Japan

3 CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo 102-0075, Japan

4 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan

5 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Translational Medical Center, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan

6 Department of Acute Critical Care and Disaster Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan

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Critical Care 2012, 16:R196  doi:10.1186/cc11681


See related commentary by Hull and Rattray, http://ccforum.com/content/17/1/111

Published: 28 October 2012

Abstract

Introduction

Critically injured patients are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Propofol was recently reported to enhance fear memory consolidation retrospectively. Thus, we investigated here whether administration of propofol within 72 h of a motor vehicle accident (MVA) affects the subsequent development of PTSD symptoms.

Methods

We examined data obtained from a prospective cohort study of MVA-related injured patients, admitted to the intensive care unit of a general hospital. We investigated the effect of propofol administration within 72 h of MVA on outcome. Primary outcome was diagnosis of full or partial PTSD as determined by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were diagnosis of full or partial PTSD at 1 month and CAPS score indicating PTSD at 1 and 6 months. Multivariate analysis was conducted adjusting for being female, age, injury severity score (ISS), and administration of ketamine or midazolam within 72 h of MVA.

Results

Among 300 patients recruited (mean ISS, 8.0; median Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, 15.0; age, 18 to 69 years), propofol administration showed a higher risk for full or partial PTSD as determined by CAPS at 6 months (odds ratio = 6.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57 to 23.85, P = 0.009) and at 1 month (odds ratio = 1.31, 95% CI: 0.41 to 4.23, P = 0.647) in the multivariate logistic regression. Multivariate regression analysis showed a trend toward adverse effects of propofol on PTSD symptom development at 6 months after MVA (β = 4.08, 95% CI: -0.49 to 8.64, P = 0.080), but not at 1 month after MVA (β = -0.42, 95% CI: -6.34 to 5.51, P = 0.890).

Conclusions

These findings suggest that using propofol in the acute phase after MVA might be associated with the development of PTSD symptoms 6 months later. However, since the design of this study was retrospective, these findings should be interpreted cautiously and further study is warranted.