Changes in plasma creatinine concentration after cardiac anesthesia with isoflurane, propofol, or sevoflurane: a randomized clinical trial

Anesthesiology. 2001 Oct;95(4):842-8. doi: 10.1097/00000542-200110000-00010.


Background: Renal impairment often follows cardiac surgery. The authors investigated whether sevoflurane produces greater increases in plasma creatinine concentration than isoflurane or propofol after elective coronary artery surgery.

Methods: As part of maintenance anesthesia, including during cardiopulmonary bypass, patients were randomly allocated to receive one of three agents: isoflurane (n = 118), sevoflurane (n = 118), or propofol (n = 118). Fresh gas flows were 3 l/min. The preoperative plasma creatinine concentration was subtracted from the highest creatinine concentration in the first 3 postoperative days. A median maximum increase greater than 44 microM (0.5 mg/dl) was regarded as clinically important. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Subgroup analyses were performed on per-protocol patients and those with preoperative renal impairment (creatinine concentration > 130 microM [1.47 mg/dl] or urea > 7.7 mM [blood urea nitrogen, 21.6 mg/dl]).

Results: The differences between the groups were small, clinically unimportant, and not statistically significant for the primary analysis and subgroups. The proportions of patients with creatinine increases greater than 44 microM were 15% in the isoflurane group, 17% in the sevoflurane group, and 11% in the propofol group (P = 0.45). The median increases were 8 microM in the isoflurane group, 4 microM in the sevoflurane group, and 6 microM in the propofol group. The differences between the three median maximum increases were 1-4 microM (P > 0.45). In the subgroup with preoperative renal impairment, the median increases were 10 microM in the isoflurane group, 15 microM in the sevoflurane group, and 5 microM in the propofol group (P = 0.72).

Conclusions: Sevoflurane did not produce greater increases in creatinine than isoflurane or propofol after elective coronary artery surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation*
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous*
  • Anesthetics, General*
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoflurane*
  • Male
  • Methyl Ethers*
  • Middle Aged
  • Propofol*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sevoflurane
  • Urea / urine


  • Anesthetics, General
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Methyl Ethers
  • Sevoflurane
  • Urea
  • Creatinine
  • Isoflurane
  • Propofol