ECG and cardiac enzymes after glycine absorption in transurethral prostatic resection

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1994 Aug;38(6):550-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.1994.tb03950.x.


The electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded and the serum levels of creatine kinase (CK), aspartate transaminase (ASAT) and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) was measured in 22 patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) under spinal or epidural anaesthesia. The irrigating fluid consisted of 1.5% glycine and 1% ethanol, and absorption of the fluid was monitored by detection of alcohol in the expired breath. The results show that nine of the 11 patients (82%) who absorbed more than 1,000 ml of irrigating fluid had developed ECG changes 24 h after the operations. The most common alteration was depression of the T wave. This sign was only seen in one (9%) of the patients who absorbed none or very small amounts of irrigating fluid (P < 0.001). The serum activity of CK and ASAT increased in five patients who also developed ECG changes, and the highest values were recorded 24 h after TURP. The CK-MB isoenzyme was detected in 85% of the samples with elevated total CK, but the criteria for myocardial infarction were never fulfilled. In contrast, PAP increased in all patients and the highest level occurred at the end of TURP. The activity-time profiles suggest that CK and ASAT entered the circulation by a mechanism different from that of PAP. We conclude that absorption of glycine solution during TURP is frequently followed by nonspecific ECG signs of altered cardiac function and also that the serum activities of CK and ASAT increase in some of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Acid Phosphatase / blood
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Epidural
  • Anesthesia, Spinal
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood*
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects*
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics
  • Glycine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Myocardium / enzymology*
  • Potassium / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / enzymology
  • Prostatectomy* / methods
  • Sodium / blood
  • Therapeutic Irrigation


  • Isoenzymes
  • Ethanol
  • Sodium
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Potassium
  • Glycine