Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potentially Safer General Anesthetic Developed

Date:
July 27, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Physicians have described preclinical studies of a new general anesthetic -- a chemically altered version of an exiting drug -- that does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anesthetics or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the parent drug.

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) physicians has developed a new general anesthetic that may be safer for critically ill patients. In the August issue of Anesthesiology, they describe preclinical studies of the drug called MOC-etomidate – a chemically altered version of an exiting anesthetic – which does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anesthetics or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the original version of the drug.

Related Articles


"We have shown that making a version of etomidate that is broken down very quickly in the body reduces the duration of adrenal suppression while retaining etomidate's benefit of keeping blood pressure much more stable than other anesthetics do," says Douglas Raines, MD, of the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, who led the study.

Almost all general anethetic agents reduce blood pressure immediately after they are administered, which is not a problem for young and healthy patients but can have serious consequences for those who are elderly, critically ill or suffering from blood loss. For such patients, etomidate is often used to induce anesthesia, but since adrenal suppression sets in quickly and can last for several hours to days, other agents are used to maintain anesthesia during a procedure, requiring very careful monitoring to avoid dangerous blood pressure drops.

In their search for a safer version of etomidate, the research team mimicked the chemical structure of other "soft analogue" drugs – derivatives of parent drugs designed to be rapidly metabolized – by adding a molecule that causes the drug to broken down by natural enzymes soon after producing its effects. Experiments in tadpoles and rats showed that the new agent, MOC-etomidate, quickly produced anesthesia from which the animals recovered rapidly after administration ceased. The rat study verified that MOC-etomidate had little effect on blood pressure levels and no effect on adrenal activity, even when administered at twice the dosage required to produce anesthesia.

The researchers note that, since the study only examined the effect of a single dose of MOC-etomidate, their next step will be to study continuous infusion of the drug. Additional data must be gathered from animal studies before testing the agent in human patients is feasible. "If all goes well, we expect that we could give a large dose of MOC-etomidate to induce anesthesia and then run a continuous infusion to maintain anesthesia without reducing blood pressure in even very sick patients," Raines says. "We also anticipate that patients will wake more quickly and with less sedation after surgery and anesthesia."

Raines is an associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. Co-authors of the Anesthesiology study – supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research – are lead author Joseph Cotton, MD; Shaukat Husain, DPhil; Stuart Forman, MD, PhD, Keith Miller, DPhil; Elizabeth Kelly and Hieu Nguyen, all of the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. The MGH has filed a patent application for MOC-etomidate and other etomidate analogues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Potentially Safer General Anesthetic Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090723081520.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2009, July 27). Potentially Safer General Anesthetic Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090723081520.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Potentially Safer General Anesthetic Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090723081520.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins