Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 9, pp 3127–3132 | Cite as

A Comparison of Safety and Efficacy of Dexmedetomidine and Propofol in Children with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders Undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Kamal AbulebdaEmail author
  • Ryan Louer
  • Riad Lutfi
  • Sheikh Sohail Ahmed
Original Paper


Children with autism and autism spectrum disorders have a high incidence of neurologic comorbidities. Consequently, evaluation with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is deemed necessary. Sedating these patients poses several challenges. This retrospective study compared the efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine to propofol in sedating autistic patients undergoing MRI. There were 56 patients in the dexmedetomidine group and 49 in the propofol group. All of the patients successfully completed the procedure. Recovery and discharge times were significantly lower in the propofol group, while the dexmedetomidine group maintained more stable hemodynamics. Both propofol and dexmedetomidine proved to be adequate and safe medications in the sedation of autistic children undergoing MRI.


Autism Magnetic resonance imaging Deep sedation Propofol Dexmedetomidine 



The authors have reported that no funding was received for this study.

Author Contributions

KA helped gathering data, conceptualizing and drafting the initial manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. RL and RL carried out the initial analyses, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. SSA designed and conceptualized the study, and coordinated and supervised data collection, critically reviewed and approved the final manuscript as submitted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of MedicineRiley Hospital for Children at Indiana University HealthIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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