Comparing the effect of xenon and sevoflurane anesthesia on postoperative neural injury biomarkers: a randomized controlled trial

Med Gas Res. 2022 Jan-Mar;12(1):10-17. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.324591.


General anesthesia and surgery are associated with an increase in neural injury biomarkers. Elevations of these neural injury biomarkers in the perioperative period are associated with postoperative delirium. Xenon has been shown to be protective against a range of neurological insults in animal models. It remains to be seen if xenon anesthesia is neuroprotective in the perioperative setting in humans. Twenty-four participants scheduled for lithotripsy were randomized to receive either xenon or sevoflurane general anesthesia. There was no statistically significant difference in the concentrations of postoperative neural injury biomarkers between the xenon and sevoflurane group. Following the procedure there was a significant increase in the concentration from baseline of all three biomarkers at 1 hour post-induction with a return to baseline at 5 hours. General anesthesia for lithotripsy was associated with a significant increase at 1 hour post-induction in the neural injury biomarkers total tau, neurofilament light and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181, a marker of tau phosphorylation. The protocol was approved by the St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne Ethics Committee (approval No. HREC/18/SVHM/221) on July 20, 2018 and was registered with the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (registration No. ACTRN12618000916246) on May 31, 2018.

Keywords: biomarkers; inflammation; lithotripsy; neurocognitive disorders; neurofilament; neuroprotection; postoperative delirium; tau; xenon.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation* / adverse effects
  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sevoflurane
  • Xenon*


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Biomarkers
  • Sevoflurane
  • Xenon

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12618000916246