Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anesthetic technique important to prevent damage to brain

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
A commonly used anesthetic technique to reduce the blood pressure of patients undergoing surgery could increase the risk of starving the brain of oxygen. Reducing blood pressure is important in a wide range of surgeries -- such as sinus, shoulder, back and brain operations -- and is especially useful for improving visibility for surgeons, by helping to remove excess blood from the site being operated on.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that a commonly used anesthetic technique to reduce the blood pressure of patients undergoing surgery could increase the risk of starving the brain of oxygen.

Reducing blood pressure is important in a wide range of surgeries -- such as sinus, shoulder, back and brain operations -- and is especially useful for improving visibility for surgeons, by helping to remove excess blood from the site being operated on.

There are many different techniques used to lower patients' blood pressure for surgery -- one of them is known as hypotensive anesthesia, which slows the arterial blood pressure by up to 40%.

Professor PJ Wormald, a sinus, head and neck surgeon from the University's Discipline of Surgery, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, led a world-first study looking at both the effectiveness of hypotensive anesthesia from the surgeon's point of view and its impact on the patients.

The study followed 32 patients who underwent endoscopic sinus surgery. The results have now been published online in the journal The Laryngoscope.

"There is an important balance in anesthesia where the blood pressure is lowered so that the surgeon has good visibility and is able to perform surgery safely. There are numerous sensitive areas in sinus surgery -- the brain, the eye and large vessels such as the carotid. However, if the blood pressure is lowered too far this may cause damage to the brain and other organs," says Professor Wormald.

"We know from previous research that a person's brain undergoing anesthesia has lower metabolic requirements than the awake brain, and therefore it can withstand greater reductions in blood flow.

"There is also a widely accepted concept that the brain has the ability to autoregulate -- to adapt and maintain a constant blood flow as needed, despite a wide range of blood pressure conditions. Our studies challenge this; they show that the brain can only autoregulate up to a point, and cannot completely adapt to such low blood pressures.

"This drop in blood pressure poses a risk of starving the brain of much-needed oxygen and nutrients, which could result in injury. There have been cases, for example, where patients have reported memory loss following surgery.

"Given that hypotensive anesthesia is a widely used technique, not just in sinus surgery but in many different types of surgery, we've made recommendations in our paper that suggest a safer approach to this technique. This would reduce risk to the patient while enabling the surgeon to carry out their work effectively," Professor Wormald says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Anesthetic technique important to prevent damage to brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331095548.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, March 31). Anesthetic technique important to prevent damage to brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331095548.htm
University of Adelaide. "Anesthetic technique important to prevent damage to brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331095548.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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