Role of Anesthetic Agents on Cardiac and Immune Systems

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A growing body of evidence indicates that anesthetic agents may play some roles in the cardiovascular and immune systems after injury. Myocardial anesthetic preconditioning is found to be involved in the anesthetic-induced cardioprotective effect. Such protective phenomenon is reported to be implicated in a variety of intracellular signaling pathways including the regulation of the opening of adenosine triphosphate–sensitive potassium channels, the maintenance of intracellular and mitochondrial calcium homeostasis, and the mediation of nitric oxide formation and reactive oxygen species release. Moreover, through anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties, the anesthetic agents are believed to modulate immune response of individuals after injury. Thus, alteration or modulation of cardiovascular and immune function by the administration of anesthetic agents to the patients at the time of injury appears to be appropriate and important.

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