Are General anesthetics neurotoxic? Review

  • Hermes Melo Teixeira Batista Faculdade de Medicina do ABC Hospital Regional do Cariri
  • Gylmara Bezerra de Menezes Silveira Regional hospital of Cariri
  • Leonardo Araújo Sampaio Regional Hospital of Cariri
  • Márcio Fernando Gonçalves Araújo Regional Hospital of Cariri Laboratory design and Scientific Writting. Department of Basic Sciences, ABC faculty of Medicine.
  • Naidhia Alves Soares Ferreira Laboratory design and Scientific Writting. Department of Basic Sciences, ABC faculty of Medicine.
  • Italla Maria Pinheiro Bezerra Laboratory design and Scientific Writting. Department of Basic Sciences, ABC faculty of Medicine.
  • Maria Manuela Martins Rolim Teacher at the Department of Speech and Hearing Pathology at FFC-UNESP/Marilia, São Paulo
  • Vitor Engracia Valenti
  • Breno Souza Benevides
  • Luiz Carlos de Abreu

Abstract

Introduction: General anaesthesia has been used worldwide since its first public demonstration with ether in 1846. Until a little more than a decade ago, it was believed that the anaesthetic state was limited to the period of exposure. Studies in rats, pigs, and rhesus monkeys have shown that almost all general anaesthetics accelerate the apoptotic process in neurones, oligodendrocytes, and glial cells. Objective: Our aim was to analyse the relationship between general anaesthetics and their role in triggering neuroapoptosis in laboratory animals. Method: A search was carried out in PubMed and Google Scholar with the keywords "neurotoxicity" and "general anesthetics" for selecting articles published in the last five years. After having evaluated the abstracts, 77 articles were selected and read by 2 independent investigators. All authors met and discussed the most relevant aspects. Results: All general anaesthetics, when inhaled or administered intravenously, enhance neuroapoptosis, mainly during the gestational and neonatal stages in rats, pigs, and non-human primates. Neurones and oligodendrocytes that are capable of neurogenesis and synaptogenesis are the most affected. General anaesthetics commonly lead to learning and behavioural disorders, in addition to permanent memory deficit. Conclusion: The neurotoxicity of general anaesthetics affects different mammalian species and accelerates the neuroapoptotic process. This deleterious effect involves specific brain areas and occurs in developing neurones. The exceptions are the dentate gyrus and the olfactory bulb, which undergo apoptosis even in adulthood, albeit to a lesser extent.

Published
Apr 21, 2015
How to Cite
BATISTA, Hermes Melo Teixeira et al. Are General anesthetics neurotoxic? Review. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 8, apr. 2015. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <http://imed.pub/ojs/index.php/iam/article/view/1065>. Date accessed: 18 aug. 2018. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3823/1652.
Section
Toxicology & Therapeutics

Keywords

Neurotoxicity; General anaesthetics; Caspase-3, Neurogenesis

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