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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Propofol has no direct effect on sinoatrial node function or on normal atrioventricular and accessory pathway conduction in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome during alfentanil/midazolam anesthesia.

BACKGROUND: Propofol has been implicated as causing intraoperative bradyarrhythmias. Furthermore, the effects of propofol on the electrophysiologic properties of the sinoatrial (SA) node and on normal atrioventricular (AV) and accessory pathways in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are unknown. Therefore, this study examined the effects of propofol on the cardiac electrophysiologic properties in humans to determine whether propofol promotes bradyarrhythmias and its suitability as an anesthetic agent in patients undergoing ablative procedures. METHODS: Twelve patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation were studied. Anesthesia was induced with alfentanil (50 micrograms/kg), midazolam (0.15 mg/kg), and vecuronium (20 mg) and maintained with alfentanil (2 and midazolam (1-2 mg, every 15 min, as needed). A electrophysiologic study was performed consisting of measurement of the effective refractory period of the right atrium, AV node, and accessory pathway and the shortest cycle length of the AV node and accessory pathway during antegrade stimulation plus the effective refractory period of the right ventricle and accessory pathway and the shortest cycle length of the accessory pathway during retrograde stimulation. Determinants of SA node function including sinus node recovery time, corrected sinus node recovery time, and SA conduction time; intraatrial conduction time and atrial-His interval also were measured. Reciprocating tachycardia was induced by rapid right atrial or ventricular pacing, and the cycle length and atrial-His, His-ventricular, and ventriculoatrial intervals were measured. Alfentanil/midazolam was then discontinued. Propofol was administered (bolus 2 mg/kg + 120, and the electrophysiologic measurements were repeated. RESULTS: Propofol caused a statistically significant but clinically unimportant prolongation of the right atrial refractory period. The effective refractory periods of the AV node, right ventricle, and accessory pathway, as well as the shortest cycle length, were not affected. Parameters of SA node function and intraatrial conduction also were not affected. Sustained reciprocating tachycardia was inducible in 8 of 12 patients, and propofol had no effect on its electrophysiologic properties. All accessory pathways were successfully identified and ablated. CONCLUSIONS: Propofol has no clinically significant effect on the electrophysiologic expression of the accessory pathway and the refractoriness of the normal AV conduction system. In addition, propofol has no direct effect on SA node activity or intraatrial conduction; therefore, it does not directly induce bradyarrhythmias. It is thus a suitable agent for use in patients undergoing ablative procedures who require either a neuroleptic or general anesthetic.[1]


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