The purpose of this study was to compare neutrophil cidal activity during general or spinal anaesthesia. Assays were performed on neutrophils extracted from the blood of patients after surgery had been under way for one hour. First, the ability of the neutrophils to kill a standard laboratory strain of S. aureus was examined. Neutrophils extracted from the blood during surgery in the spinal anaesthetic group and incubated with the staphylococci for one hour killed twice as many bacteria than those from two groups of patients that received halothane or isoflurane general anaesthesia (P < 0.05). This effect persisted, to a lesser extent, in the spinal group neutrophils after two hours of incubation with the bacteria. Second, neutrophils from patients under the same conditions of surgery and anaesthesia were tested to examine the effect of the different anaesthetic techniques on neutrophil biocidal mechanisms. Neutrophils extracted during surgery in the spinal group released more superoxide in response to phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) than those from both groups of patients that received general anaesthesia (P < 0.05). It is concluded that there is an increased state of reactivity of the neutrophil cell membrane NADPH oxidase system in patients receiving spinal anaesthesia than in patients receiving general anaesthesia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine