The effects of sevoflurane and isoflurane on intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure after diffuse brain injury in rats

J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2001 Apr;13(2):113-9. doi: 10.1097/00008506-200104000-00008.


Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats, weighing 220 to 290 g, were anesthetized with 30 mg/kg intraperitoneal sodium thiopental, then underwent a tracheostomy. After diffuse impact-acceleration brain injury (BI) was induced, each rat was paralyzed and mechanically ventilated with 30% O2 in nitrous oxide (N2O). The rats were assigned randomly to two groups, each of which received one of the two volatile anesthetic agents, sevoflurane or isoflurane. The anesthetics were administered at 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, and 1.25 minimal alveolar concentration (MAC) for 30 minutes each, respectively, and anesthesia was maintained at 0.75 MAC during the last hour of the study period. Intracranial pressure (ICP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), rectal and intrahemispheric temperatures, and end-tidal volatile anesthetic concentrations were monitored continuously throughout the 3 hours, with measurements recorded every 15 minutes. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the two groups regarding the monitored physiologic values. In the sevoflurane group, MAP fell significantly after 45 minutes, and a similar change was observed in the isoflurane group after 30 minutes (P < .05, P < .01, and P < .001, respectively). Intracranial pressure increased significantly at 45 minutes in the sevoflurane group (P < .01) and remained elevated from 60 minutes until the end of the study period (P < .01, P < .001). Although ICP increased in the isoflurane group, the change was not significant. Cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) decreased in parallel with MAP, with the reduction in the sevoflurane group being more pronounced than that in the isoflurane group. The results demonstrated that, under the conditions of diffuse BI, animals that were anesthetized with sevoflurane had higher ICP and lower CPP levels than those anesthetized with isoflurane.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / pharmacokinetics
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects*
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Pressure / drug effects*
  • Isoflurane / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methyl Ethers / pharmacokinetics
  • Methyl Ethers / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sevoflurane


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Methyl Ethers
  • Sevoflurane
  • Isoflurane