Oxidative and Antioxidative Effects of Desflurane and Sevoflurane on Rat Tissue in Vivo
General anaesthetics are often used in patients who are under oxidative stress due to a critical illness or surgical trauma. Some anaesthetics may worsen oxidative stress and some may act as antioxidants. The aim of this study was to evaluate liver, brain, kidney, and lung tissue oxidative stress in rats exposed to desflurane and sevoflurane and in unexposed rats. The animals were divided in three groups: control (received only air); sevoflurane (8 %), and desflurane (4 %). After four hours of exposure, we evaluated the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), Cu, and Zn. Exposure to either of the anaesthetics significantly increased lung MDA levels compared to control (Mann-Whitney U test; P<0.05), probably because it is the tissue directly exposed to anaesthetic gases. Oxidative stress and antioxidant activity in other tissues varied between the desflurane and sevoflurane groups. Our results suggest that anaesthesiologist should not only be aware of the oxidative or antioxidative potential of anaesthetics they use, but should also base their choices on organs which are the most affected by their oxidative action.
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