Neutrophils from patients undergoing hip surgery exhibit enhanced movement under spinal anaesthesia compared with general anaesthesia

Richard Erskine, Piotr K. Janicki, Pat Ellis, Michael F.M. James

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The purpose of this research was to investigate whether the effects of regional anaesthesia on neutrophil migration differ from those due to general anaesthesia during major orthopaedic surgery in human patients. Eighteen patients underwent spinal or general anaesthesia (halothane or isoflurane) for surgery (six patients in each group). Blood samples were taken prior to induction of anaesthesia and after surgery was in progress for one hour. The movement of isolated neutrophils was measured in both samples in the chemotactic chamber toward lipopolysaccharide activated pooled serum. In addition plasma concentrations of catecholamines were determined in the blood samples. Neutrophils extracted from peripheral blood during spinal anaesthesia and surgery moved further towards a complementderived attractant than neurtrophils obtained from patients undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia with halothane or isoflurane and surgery (156.4 ± 7.6 μm vs 114.3 ± 6.1 μm or 119 ± 8.4 μm respectively, P < 0.05). Increased concentrations of adrenaline were present in both general anaesthetic groups whereas the spinal group had lower concentrations than those prior to anaesthesia and surgery. It is considered unlikely that these differences in neutrophil reactivity are due to the direct effects of anaesthetic agents employed. The effects are likely to be the result of differing effects of spinal anaesthesia on the stress response or immunological mediators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-910
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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