Background: There is no information about the pharmacokinetic profile of propofol in Chinese children younger than 3 yr. This study was designed to determine a complete pharmacokinetic profile of a single dose of propofol in Chinese children of different ages. Methods: Arterial blood samples were obtained from 35 children with an American Society of Anesthesiologist physical status of I or II at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 180 min after a single bolus intravenous injection of propofol (3 mg/kg). The plasma concentrations of propofol were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography with an ultraviolet detector. A population model was used to estimate the pharmacokinetics of propofol. Results: A three-compartment pharmacokinetic model best described the pharmacokinetics of propofol. Clearance was 0.185 l/min, the volume of distribution of the central compartment was 7.41 l, the peripheral volumes of distribution were 54.6 and 7.2 l, and the intercompartmental clearances were 0.614 and 0.692 l/min for a child of the average weight of 13.7 kg. The half-lives were 2.67, 14.89, and 310.60 min. Covariate models were applied, and weight was found to be significant covariate for the clearance and volume of distribution parameters. No significant age effect could be demonstrated on clearance or volume of distribution parameters after weight was taken into account. Conclusions: This study supports the case that the pharmacokinetic properties of propofol do not differ substantially across Chinese children of different ages after weight has been accounted for. © 2005 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.