Science News
from research organizations

Limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child, study shows

Date:
October 26, 2015
Source:
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Summary:
Limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child, an international team of researchers is reporting. The study is the largest of its kind and the first randomized study to compare whether general anesthesia in infancy has any effect on neurodevelopmental outcome.
Share:
FULL STORY

An international team of researchers that includes a pediatric anesthesiologist from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado is reporting that limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child.

The study, published online in the British medical journal The Lancet, is the largest of its kind and the first randomized study to compare whether general anesthesia in infancy has any effect on neurodevelopmental outcome.

David Polaner, MD, professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics and director of transplant anesthesia at Children's Hospital Colorado, is one of the authors of the paper. There were more than 700 infants involved in the study between 2007 and 2013 at 28 hospitals around the world.

"While these results apply to use of anesthetics for a short duration of less than an hour in infants, this research provides strong evidence and reassurance to parents and physicians that under the conditions we studied, anesthesia is unlikely to be the cause of developmental problems," Polaner said. "We did not find any difference between children who received general anesthesia and spinal anesthesia, suggesting that the previous human studies may have been affected by confounding factors."

The results presented in the Lancet article are an "intermediate analysis," reviewing the outcomes of children at 2 years of age. The final results will be determined when the children are five years old. The study, while not yet definitive, provides evidence that limited exposure general anesthesia does not increase the risk of developmental issues.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew J Davidson, MD et al. Neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age after general anaesthesia and awake-regional anaesthesia in infancy (GAS): an international multicentre, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, October 2015 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00608-X

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. "Limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151026132316.htm>.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. (2015, October 26). Limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151026132316.htm
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. "Limited use of general anesthesia with an infant does not cause developmental problems for the child, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151026132316.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

RELATED STORIES