Laboratory investigation: effects of propofol on the systemic inflammatory response during aortic surgery

Can J Anaesth. 2006 Jul;53(7):701-10. doi: 10.1007/BF03021629.


Purpose: A laboratory investigation was undertaken to assess the effects of propofol on renal function, through modulation of the systemic inflammatory response, in an in vivo experimental model of aortic surgery in comparison with sevoflurane.

Methods: Twenty young male piglets were anesthetized with either propofol 4 (n = 10) or sevoflurane 1.5% end-tidal concentration (n = 10). Animals were subjected to aorta-aortic bypass with suprarenal aortic clamping for 30 min. At specific intervals (basal -before the start of surgery; reperfusion 15 min after unclamping the aorta; at 24, 48 and 72 hr after surgery, and on the seventh day after surgery) the levels of the following were determined: plasma creatinine, renal myeloperoxidase, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin 1-ss, and interferon-gamma; kidney superoxide anion and its detoxifying enzyme superoxidase dismutase, kidney malondialdehyde and the activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase. Seven days after surgery, the animals were anesthetized using the described techniques, and after blood withdrawal and kidney sampling they were sacrificed.

Results: In comparison with sevoflurane, propofol was associated with a lower concentration of plasma creatinine (P < 0.05) together with lower concentrations of myeloperoxidase, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin 1-ss, interferon-gamma, superoxide anion and superoxidase dismutase, malondialdehyde and inducible nitric oxide synthase (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: In an experimental model of aortic reconstructive surgery, and compared with sevoflurane, propofol anesthesia is associated with less neutrophil infiltration, lower plasma proinflammatory cytokine levels, lower production of oxygen free radicals, less lipid peroxidation, and reduced inducible nitric oxide synthase activity. These observations suggest a possible renal protective effect of propofol in this surgical setting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Aorta / surgery*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / drug effects
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood
  • Interleukin-1beta / drug effects
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Methyl Ethers / administration & dosage
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / drug effects
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Propofol / pharmacology*
  • Sevoflurane
  • Superoxide Dismutase / drug effects
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Swine
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / blood
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / drug effects


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Methyl Ethers
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Superoxides
  • Sevoflurane
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Creatinine
  • Peroxidase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Propofol