Effects of 2-, 4- and 12-hour fasting intervals on preoperative gastric fluid pH and volume, and plasma glucose and lipid homeostasis in children

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1993 Nov;37(8):783-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.1993.tb03810.x.


We evaluated 105 randomly-selected unpremedicated children aged 1-14 years to determine the effects of a 2-, 4- and 12-h preoperative fasting interval on the preoperative gastric fluid pH and volume, and plasma glucose and lipid homeostasis. Each child undergoing elective surgery ingested a large volume (approximately 10 ml/kg b.w.) of apple juice and then fasted for 2, 4 or 12 h before the estimated induction of anaesthesia. After induction of anaesthesia, gastric fluid was aspirated through a large-bore, multiorifice orogastric tube. Plasma concentrations of glucose, total ketone bodies, non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA), triglycerides, and cortisol were measured at the time of induction to evaluate the fasting interval effects on preoperative plasma glucose and lipid homeostasis. There were no significant differences between the three groups in either gastric fluid volume or pH. In addition, there were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the proportion with a pH < 2.5 and volume > 0.4 ml/kg b.w. Neither plasma concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, nor cortisol at the time of anaesthetic induction differed between the three groups. Both 4 and 12 h nil per os (NPO) caused an increase in lipolysis, which was presumably a compensatory mechanism to maintain normoglycaemia. The plasma NEFA and total ketone bodies concentrations were therefore significantly higher in these two fasting intervals than in 2 h NPO. These data suggest that a 2-h NPO, after a large volume of ingested apple juice, may offer additional benefits by preventing an increase in lipolysis during the fasting interval without either increasing the volume of gastric fluid or decreasing the gastric pH.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Fasting / blood
  • Fasting / metabolism*
  • Gastric Acidity Determination*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids