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BMC Geriatrics

Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

Open Access

Up to date in inhalation anaesthesia: the desflurane

  • S Caroleo1,
  • O Bruno1,
  • D Vuoto1,
  • F Infelise1,
  • A Renzulli3,
  • E Santangelo2 and
  • B Amantea1
BMC Geriatrics201010(Suppl 1):L56

Published: 19 May 2010


The use of halogenated anaesthetics in cardiac surgery is still controversial. Preconditioning and postconditioning are the well described mechanisms that explain the protective myocardial effect of specific drugs in order to prevent the occurrence and/or to reduce the size of a necrotic post-ischemic myocardial area [1]: they play a well recognized role in the “protective effect” of the halogenated anaesthetics. Preconditioning and postconditioning protect the myocardial cell from oxidative stress and take place through the activation of specific receptors and second messengers systems [2]. Desflurane has shown a higher preconditioning and postconditioning power that could be optimal at 6% of Minimum Alveolar Concentration (MAC) [3]. The solubility of the halogenated anaesthetics can be altered during cardiac surgery: Desflurane has shown a rapid wash-in and wash-out profile in cardiac “on pump” surgery [5, 6].


Halogenated anaesthetics and especially desflurane protect myocardium from the peri-operative ischemic injury even in case of high risk elderly patients [7].

Authors’ Affiliations

Deparment of Anaesthesia and Reanimation, University of Catanzaro
Department of Anaesthesia and Oncological Intensive Care
Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Catanzaro


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© Caroleo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.