Do indomethacin and propofol cause cerebral ischemic damage? Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors

Anesthesiology. 2004 Oct;101(4):872-8. doi: 10.1097/00000542-200410000-00011.


Background: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine whether indomethacin and propofol induce cerebral ischemic damage in patients undergoing craniotomy for cerebral tumors. As a secondary aim, the authors investigated whether low jugular bulb oxygen saturation values were associated with brain parenchymal damage as evaluated by diffusion-weighted imaging.

Methods: Nine patients subjected to craniotomy for supratentorial brain tumors in propofol-fentanyl anesthesia were studied. Magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion- and perfusion-weighted and structural sequences were performed (1) on the day before surgery, (2) before and (3) 20 min after administration of indomethacin (bolus of 0.2 mg/kg followed by infusion of 0.2 in the propofol-fentanyl-anesthetized patient, and (4) 2 days after surgery. Apparent diffusion coefficient maps were calculated. Jugular bulb oxygen saturation, arteriovenous oxygen difference, mean arterial blood pressure, and arterial oxygen and carbon dioxide tensions were measured simultaneously with the magnetic resonance examinations performed during anesthesia.

Results: No ischemic lesions were detected in the diffusion-weighted or apparent diffusion coefficient images. A nonsignificant decrease in jugular bulb oxygen saturation from 51% (range, 40-61%) to 43% (range, 37-63%) and increase in arteriovenous oxygen difference from 4.4 mm (range, 2.7-4.6 mm) to 4.7 mm (range, 2.9-5.2 mm) was observed after indomethacin administration.

Conclusion: Administration of indomethacin during propofol anesthesia is not associated with evidence of ischemic damage in patients with brain tumors, as evaluated by diffusion-weighted imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / chemically induced*
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Craniotomy*
  • Diffusion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propofol / adverse effects*


  • Indomethacin
  • Propofol