Home E-Weekly August 5, 2014

Is General Anesthesia Safe For Children?

Published: August 4, 2014

Recent studies have sparked concerns about the damage that general anesthesia may do to children's brains, but new research suggests that the disruptive effects are temporary and reversible.

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, cultured the brain cells of embryonic rats, then exposed them to the inhalational agent isoflurane while examining them under time-lapse microscopic imaging.

While they noted an immediate impact on the number and structure of the connections between brain cells, the connections began regenerating after the isoflurane was washed out of the culture.

"Our study was reassuring in the sense that the effects are not irreversible and this fits in with known clinical effects," says Hugh C. Hemmings Jr., MD, who chairs the anesthesiology department at Weill Cornell and co-authored the study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

David Bernard

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Can Pre-op Brain Monitoring Improve General Anesthesia?

Researchers say "signatures" of brain activity predict reactions to anesthetics.

The Next-Generation Anesthesia Machines

Technology updates make anesthesia delivery safer for patients and easier for providers.

Are Anesthesia Opt-Outs Worth It?

Study sees less action in states where physicians don't supervise CRNAs.