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

Alterations of normal left ventricular performance by general anesthesia.

Serial invasive and noninvasive (systolic time interval) measurements of left ventricular performance were obtained in six healthy volunteers during general anesthesia employing the following sequence: thiopental induction, succinylcholine (prior to endotracheal intubation), and halothane--100 per cent oxygen at 1.25 and 1.75 MAC. Heart rate (HR), mean pulmonary arterial "wedge" pressure (PAW) and mean systemic arterial pressure (MAP) were measured continuously; cardiac index and systolic time intervals (STI's) were measured during each intervention. At both levels of halothane, MAP and stroke work index decreased (both P less than 0.02), while HR and systemic vascular resistance did not change. At 1.25 MAC halothane PAW was unchanged, but at 1.75 MAC PAW increased from 8 +/- 4 (SD) to 11 +/- 5 torr (P less than 0.02). Preload was altered at 1.25 MAC by administration of 600-1,000 ml lactated Ringer's solution; PAW increased from 9 +/- 4 to 17 +/- 3 torr (P less than 0.01). At 1.75 MAC halothane, volume expansion increased PAW in a similar manner, but the resultant ventricular function curve was depressed compared with 1.25 MAC halothane. In additon, at each level of halothane anesthesia, the ventricular function curve was depressed compared with results obtained in awake normal subjects. Afterload was altered at 1.25 MAC halothane by infusion of phenylephrine sufficient to raise MAP by 30 per cent. This intervention resulted in a greater depression of cardiac performance than that observed at 1.75 MAC halothane alone. Although alterations in STI's were directionally similar to changes observed in invasive hemodynamic measurements, STI's were sensitive to acute alternations in loading conditions. It is concluded that the levels of halothane commonly employed for general anesthesia significantly depress left ventricular performance in normal subjects, as evidenced by abnormal responses to alterations in preload and afterload, and that STI's should not be employed for routine measurement of left ventricular performance during anesthesia unless both the afterload and the preload on the myocardium are known.[1]


  1. Alterations of normal left ventricular performance by general anesthesia. Filner, B.E., Karliner, J.S. Anesthesiology (1976) [Pubmed]
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