[Propofol for neuroanesthesia]

Anaesthesist. 1995 Jun;44(6):405-9. doi: 10.1007/s001010050168.
[Article in German]


The quality, result, and prognosis of neurosurgery relies heavily on the anaesthetic technique. Many different classes of drugs have been used during neurosurgical anaesthesia. This article reviews the use of intravenous (IV) propofol as an alternative to volatile anaesthetic techniques. Anaesthesia requirements for neurosurgical procedures are elaborated upon in the first part of the article. The priority of neuroanaesthesia is to preserve neuronal function by avoiding complications such as hypoxia, hypercarbia, and cardiovascular instability. Thereafter, the chosen anaesthetic technique should minimally interfere with cerebral autoregulation and CO2 responsiveness, while brain relaxation is encouraged by decreasing the cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen (CMRO2) and cerebral blood flow (CBF). In addition, the anaesthetic technique should be associated with rapid and predictable recovery in the operating theatre in order to allow early evaluation of the surgery. The second part of the article describes IV techniques for neurosurgery as an alternative to volatile anaesthetics, all of which increase CBF, cerebral blood volume, and intracranial pressure (ICP) in a dose-related manner and diminish cerebral autoregulation and interfere with cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity. Nitrous oxide has a stimulant effect on cerebral metabolism and is associated with an increase in CBF. On the other hand, all IV agents except ketamine are associated with decreases in CMRO2 and are cerebral vasoconstrictors. For this reason, it is rational to use them for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia for neurosurgery as part of a total IV anaesthetic technique. The third part of the article focuses on propofol as the newest representative of IV anaesthetics.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Intravenous*
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgery*
  • Propofol* / administration & dosage


  • Propofol