Effects of anaesthesia on the human immune system

Hosp Med. 1999 Sep;60(9):658-63. doi: 10.12968/hosp.1999.60.9.1198.


The ability of certain anaesthetic agents to influence the immune response has been recognized for almost 30 years. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the different components of the immune system and examine the way in which surgery and anaesthesia influence these.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anesthesia*
  • Anesthesia, Conduction
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Antibody Formation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Cellular / physiology
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic