Effect of isoflurane anaesthesia and surgery on carbohydrate metabolism and plasma cortisol levels in man

  • Tsutomu Oyama
  • Peter Latto
  • Duncan A. Holaday


The present study was undertaken to investigate in nine male surgical patients the effects of isoflurane anaesthesia alone on the carbohydrate metabolism by determining plasma growth hormone (GH), insulin, blood glucose, and cortisol, and to compare them with the effects of anaesthesia associated with surgical operations. Determination of plasma GH, insulin, cortisol, and blood glucose were made simultaneously before induction of isoflurane anaesthesia, after maintenance of anaesthesia for 15 minutes and 30 minutes and during and after conclusion of the operation.

Plasma GH concentrations showed a significant elevation during isoflurane anaesthesia, and maintained a similar high level one hour after the start of the operation. An insignificant elevation in plasma insulin level and significant increases in blood glucose were noted during anaesthesia and operation. Plasma cortisol levels increased insignificantly during anaesthesia, but increased markedly during operation. Our observations would suggest that the increased blood level of GH and elevated blood cortisol play a part in the increase of blood glucose during isoflurane anaesthesia and surgical operations in man.


Cortisol Growth Hormone Isoflurane Human Growth Hormone Plasma Insulin Level 
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Ce travail avait pour objet l’étude des effets de l’lsoflurane seul sur le métabolisme des hydrates de carbone et de les comparer à ceux causés par l’addition du traumatisme chirurgical; à cette find, on a déterminé chez neuf sujets, le taux de l’lnsuline, de la Glycémie et du Cortisol. Des échantillons ont été prélevés avant l’induction de l’anesthésie à l’lsoflurane, 15 et 30 minutes après l’induction, avant l’incision, durant et après l’intervention.

On a observé une élévation significative au niveau de l’Hormone de Croissance durant l’anesthésie, élévation qui s’est maintenue une heure après le début de l’intervention. On a également noté au cours de l’anesthésie et de l’intervention une augmentation non significative de I’Insulinémie et une augmentation significative de la Glycémie.

Le Cortisol plasmatique pour sa part s’est élevé de façon non significative durant l’anesthésie, et de façon significative durant le temps chirurgical.

Nos observations suggèrent que 1’élévation du taux de l’Hormone de Croissance et du Cortisol joue un rôle dans 1’élévation de la Glycémie observée au cours de l’ahesthésie à l’lsoflurane chez 1’homme.


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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsutomu Oyama
    • 1
  • Peter Latto
    • 1
  • Duncan A. Holaday
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Miami School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration HospitalMiami

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