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Pulmonary inflammatory mediators after sevoflurane and thiopentone anaesthesia in pigs

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Volatile anaesthetics have been shown to affect the release of pulmonary inflammatory mediators and exacerbate pulmonary injury after experimental aspiration. Thus, in theory, volatile anaesthetics may worsen inflammatory pulmonary injury and disease. We have previously described that no significant changes in alveolar ultrastructure are seen after sevoflurane anaesthesia. However, this does not exclude any possible physiological alterations. The aim of our study was to evaluate pulmonary inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) after sevoflurane and thiopentone anaesthesia in pigs with intact lungs. Methods: 

Sixteen pigs were randomly selected to receive either a continuous thiopentone infusion (control group, n = 8) or sevoflurane (n = 8) at 4.0% inspiratory concentration (1.5 MAC) in air for 6 h. Bronchoalveolar lavage samples were collected at the end of the study to determine pulmonary inflammatory markers. Results: 

Compared with thiopentone anaesthesia, significant increases in BAL leukotriene C4 (LTC4), NO3-, and NO2- levels were observed after sevoflurane anaesthesia. In addition, there was a significant decrease in total blood leukocyte count in sevoflurane-treated animals. Conclusion: 

We conclude that sevoflurane increases pulmonary LTC4, NO3-, and NO2- production in pigs, indicating an inflammatory response.

Keywords: Bronchoalveolar lavage; eicosanoids; inflammation; nitric oxide. volatile anaesthetics; sevoflurane

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Turku University Hospital, 2: Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, 3: Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, 4: Department of Clinical Chemistry, Turku University Hospital, Turku, 5: Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Tampere, and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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