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1.  A randomised controlled trial: can acupuncture reduce drug requirement during analgosedation with propofol and alfentanil for colonoscopy? A study protocol 
The number of colonoscopies tremendously increased in recent years and will further rise in the near future. Because of patients’ growing expectation on comfort during medical procedures, it is not surprising that the demand for sedation also expands. Propofol in combination with alfentanil is known to provide excellent analgosedation, however, its use is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular depression. Acupuncture could be a technique to reduce drug requirement while providing the same level of sedation and analgesia.
The study will be performed as a single centre, randomised, placebo controlled trial. 153 patients scheduled for propofol/alfentanil sedation during colonoscopy will be randomly assigned to receive electroacupuncture (P6, ST36, LI4), sham acupuncture, or placebo acupuncture. Following endoscopy patients and gastroenterologists have to fill in questionnaires about their sedation experiences. Additionally, patients have to accomplish the Trieger test before and after the procedure. Patient monitoring includes time adapted HR, SpO2, ECG, NIBP, exCO2, OAA/S, and the Aldrete score. The primary outcome parameter is the dosage of propofol necessary for an adequate level of sedation to tolerate the procedure (OAA/S < 4). Effectiveness of sedation, classified by satisfaction levels measured by questionnaires is the secondary outcome parameter.
Moderate to deep sedation using propofol is increasingly applied during colonoscopies with a high satisfaction level among patients despite well-known hemodynamic and respiratory side effects of this hypnotic agent. Acupuncture is known to attenuate gastrointestinal discomfort and pain. We hypothesize that the combination of conventional sedation techniques with acupuncture may result in equally satisfied patients with a lower risk of respiratory and hemodynamic events during colonoscopies.
Trial registration
This trial is registered in the Nederland’s Trial Register NTR 4325.
The first patient was randomized on 13 February 2014.
PMCID: PMC4647620  PMID: 26573153
Procedural sedation; Propofol; Acupuncture; Colonoscopy
2.  Intraoperative Fluid Restriction in Pancreatic Surgery: A Double Blinded Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0140294.
Perioperative fluid restriction in a variety of operations has shown improvement of: complications, recovery of gastrointestinal function and length of stay (LOS). We investigated effects of crystalloid fluid restriction in pancreatic surgery. Our hypothesis: enhanced recovery of gastrointestinal function.
In this double-blinded randomized trial, patients scheduled to undergo pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) were randomized: standard (S:10ml/kg/hr) or restricted (R:5ml/kg/hr) fluid protocols. Primary endpoint: gastric emptying scintigraphically assessed on postoperative day 7.
In 66 randomized patients, complications and 6-year survival were analyzed. 54 patients were analyzed in intention to treat: 24 S-group and 30 R-group. 32 patients actually underwent a PD and 16 patients had a palliative gastrojejunostomy bypass operation in the full protocol analysis. The median gastric emptying time (T½) was 104 minutes (S-group, 95% confidence interval: 74–369) versus 159 minutes (R-group, 95% confidence interval: 61–204) (P = 0.893, NS). Delayed gastric emptying occurred in 10 patients in the S-group and in 13 patients in the R-group (45% and 50%, P = 0.779, NS). The primary outcome parameter, gastric emptying time, did not show a statistically significant difference between groups.
A fluid regimen of 10ml/kg/hr or 5ml/kg/hr during pancreatic surgery did not lead to statistically significant differences in gastric emptying. A larger study would be needed to draw definite conclusions about fluid restriction in pancreatic surgery.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4605599  PMID: 26465290
3.  Role of Endogenous Opioid System in Ischemic-Induced Late Preconditioning 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0134283.
Opioid receptors (OR) are involved in myocardial late preconditioning (LPC) induced by morphine and δ1-opioid receptor (δ1-OR) agonists. The role of OR in ischemic-induced LPC is unknown. We investigated whether 1) OR are involved in the trigger and/or mediation phase of LPC and 2) a time course effect on the expression of different opioid receptors and their endogenous ligands exists.
Male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to four groups (each group n = 8). Awake animals were ischemic preconditioned by a 5 minutes coronary occlusion. 24 hours later, anesthetized animals underwent 25 minutes coronary occlusion followed by 2 hours of reperfusion. The role of OR was investigated by treatment with intraperitoneal naloxone (Nal) 10 minutes prior to LPC (Nal-LPC; trigger phase) or 10 min prior to sustained ischemia (LPC-Nal; mediation phase).
LPC reduced infarct size from 61±10% in controls to 25±9% (P<0.001). Naloxone during trigger or mediation phase completely abolished LPC-induced cardioprotection (59±9% and 62±9%; P<0.001 vs. LPC). 8, 12 and 24 hours after the ischemic stimulus, expression of δ-OR in the heart was increased, whereas μ-opioid receptor (μ-OR) and κ-opioid receptor (κ-OR) were not. Plasma concentrations of β-endorphin and leu-enkephalin but not dynorphin were increased by LPC.
Ischemic LPC is triggererd and mediated by OR. Expression of δ-OR and plasma levels of endogenous opioid peptides are increased after ischemic LPC.
PMCID: PMC4520665  PMID: 26226627
4.  Plasma from human volunteers subjected to remote ischemic preconditioning protects human endothelial cells from hypoxia–induced cell damage 
Short repeated cycles of peripheral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) can protect distant organs from subsequent prolonged I/R injury; a phenomenon known as remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC). A RIPC-mediated release of humoral factors might play a key role in this protection and vascular endothelial cells are potential targets for these secreted factors. In the present study, RIPC-plasma obtained from healthy male volunteers was tested for its ability to protect human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVEC) from hypoxia–induced cell damage. 10 healthy male volunteers were subjected to a RIPC-protocol consisting of 4 × 5 min inflation/deflation of a blood pressure cuff located at the upper arm. Plasma was collected before (T0; control), directly after (T1) and 1 h after (T2) the RIPC procedure. HUVEC were subjected to 24 h hypoxia damage and simultaneously incubated with 5 % of the respective RIPC-plasma. Cell damage was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-measurements. Western blot experiments of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF1alpha), phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5), protein kinase B (AKT) and extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK-1/2) were performed. Furthermore, the concentrations of hVEGF were evaluated in the RIPC-plasma by sandwich ELISA. Hypoxia–induced cell damage was significantly reduced by plasma T1 (p = 0.02 vs T0). The protective effect of plasma T1 was accompanied by an augmentation of the intracellular HIF1alpha (p = 0.01 vs T0) and increased phosphorylation of ERK-1/2 (p = 0.03 vs T0). Phosphorylation of AKT and STAT5 remained unchanged. Analysis of the protective RIPC-plasma T1 showed significantly reduced levels of hVEGF (p = 0.01 vs T0). RIPC plasma protects endothelial cells from hypoxia–induced cell damage and humoral mediators as well as intracellular HIF1alpha may be involved.
PMCID: PMC4341024  PMID: 25716080
Remote conditioning; Human endothelium; Signalling kinases; Translational study
5.  Prolonged Helium Postconditioning Protocols during Early Reperfusion Do Not Induce Cardioprotection in the Rat Heart In Vivo: Role of Inflammatory Cytokines 
Journal of Immunology Research  2015;2015:216798.
Postconditioning of myocardial tissue employs short cycles of ischemia or pharmacologic agents during early reperfusion. Effects of helium postconditioning protocols on infarct size and the ischemia/reperfusion-induced immune response were investigated by measurement of protein and mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Rats were anesthetized with S-ketamine (150 mg/kg) and diazepam (1.5 mg/kg). Regional myocardial ischemia/reperfusion was induced; additional groups inhaled 15, 30, or 60 min of 70% helium during reperfusion. Fifteen minutes of helium reduced infarct size from 43% in control to 21%, whereas 30 and 60 minutes of helium inhalation led to an infarct size of 47% and 39%, respectively. Increased protein levels of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC-3) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) were found after 30 or 60 min of helium inhalation, in comparison to control. 30 min of helium increased mRNA levels of CINC-3, IL-1β, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in myocardial tissue not directly subjected to ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest that the effectiveness of the helium postconditioning protocol is very sensitive to duration of noble gas application. Additionally, helium was associated with higher levels of inflammatory cytokines; however, it is not clear whether this is causative of nature or part of an epiphenomenon.
PMCID: PMC4352470  PMID: 25759838
6.  Reduction of Cardiac Cell Death after Helium Postconditioning in Rats: Transcriptional Analysis of Cell Death and Survival Pathways 
Molecular Medicine  2015;20(1):516-526.
Helium, a noble gas, has been used safely in humans. In animal models of regional myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) it was shown that helium conditioning reduces infarct size. Currently, it is not known how helium exerts its cytoprotective effects and which cell death/survival pathways are affected. The objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate the cell protective effects of helium postconditioning by PCR array analysis of genes involved in necrosis, apoptosis and autophagy. Male rats were subjected to 25 min of ischemia and 5, 15 or 30 min of reperfusion. Semiquantitative histological analysis revealed that 15 min of helium postconditioning reduced the extent of I/R-induced cell damage. This effect was not observed after 5 and 30 min of helium postconditioning. Analysis of the differential expression of genes showed that 15 min of helium postconditioning mainly caused upregulation of genes involved in autophagy and inhibition of apoptosis versus I/R alone. The results suggest that the cytoprotective effects of helium inhalation may be caused by a switch from pro-cell-death signaling to activation of cell survival mechanisms, which appears to affect a wide range of pathways.
PMCID: PMC4365058  PMID: 25171109
7.  Heliox Improves Carbon Dioxide Removal during Lung Protective Mechanical Ventilation  
Introduction. Helium is a noble gas with low density and increased carbon dioxide (CO2) diffusion capacity. This allows lower driving pressures in mechanical ventilation and increased CO2 diffusion. We hypothesized that heliox facilitates ventilation in patients during lung-protective mechanical ventilation using low tidal volumes. Methods. This is an observational cohort substudy of a single arm intervention study. Twenty-four ICU patients were included, who were admitted after a cardiac arrest and mechanically ventilated for 3 hours with heliox (50% helium; 50% oxygen). A fixed protective ventilation protocol (6 mL/kg) was used, with prospective observation for changes in lung mechanics and gas exchange. Statistics was by Bonferroni post-hoc correction with statistical significance set at P < 0.017. Results. During heliox ventilation, respiratory rate decreased (25 ± 4 versus 23 ± 5 breaths min−1, P = 0.010). Minute volume ventilation showed a trend to decrease compared to baseline (11.1 ± 1.9 versus 9.9 ± 2.1 L min−1, P = 0.026), while reducing PaCO2 levels (5.0 ± 0.6 versus 4.5 ± 0.6 kPa, P = 0.011) and peak pressures (21.1 ± 3.3 versus 19.8 ± 3.2 cm H2O, P = 0.024). Conclusions. Heliox improved CO2 elimination while allowing reduced minute volume ventilation in adult patients during protective mechanical ventilation.
PMCID: PMC4274833  PMID: 25548660
8.  Study protocol of a randomised controlled trial comparing perioperative intravenous insulin, GIK or GLP-1 treatment in diabetes–PILGRIM trial 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:91.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with poor outcome after surgery. The prevalence of DM in hospitalised patients is up to 40%, meaning that the anaesthesiologist will encounter a patient with DM in the operating room on a daily basis. Despite an abundance of published glucose lowering protocols and the known negative outcomes associated with perioperative hyperglycaemia in DM, there is no evidence regarding the optimal intraoperative glucose lowering treatment. In addition, protocol adherence is usually low and protocol targets are not simply met.
Recently, incretins have been introduced to lower blood glucose. The main hormone of the incretin system is glucagon-like peptide–1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 increases insulin and decreases glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner, resulting in glucose lowering action with a low incidence of hypoglycaemia.
We set out to determine the optimal intraoperative treatment algorithm to lower glucose in patients with DM type 2 undergoing non-cardiac surgery, comparing intraoperative glucose-insulin-potassium infusion (GIK), insulin bolus regimen (BR) and GPL-1 (liragludite, LG) treatment.
This is a multicentre randomised open label trial in patients with DM type 2 undergoing non-cardiac surgery. Patients are randomly assigned to one of three study arms; intraoperative glucose-insulin-potassium infusion (GIK), intraoperative sliding-scale insulin boluses (BR) or GPL-1 pre-treatment with liraglutide (LG). Capillary glucose will be measured every hour. If necessary, in all study arms glucose will be adjusted with an intravenous bolus of insulin. Researchers, care givers and patients will not be blinded for the assigned treatment. The main outcome measure is the difference in median glucose between the three study arms at 1 hour postoperatively. We will include 315 patients, which gives us a 90% power to detect a 1 mmol l−1 difference in glucose between the study arms.
The PILGRIM trial started in January 2014 and will provide relevant information on the perioperative use of GLP-1 agonists and the optimal intraoperative treatment algorithm in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2.
Trial registration, NCT02036372
PMCID: PMC4240889  PMID: 25419179
Diabetes mellitus type 2; Perioperative management; GLP-1 agonist
9.  Safety and effectiveness using dexmedetomidine versus propofol TCI sedation during oesophagus interventions: a randomized trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:176.
Endoscopic treatment of early neoplastic lesions in oesophagus has evolved as a valid and less invasive alternative to surgical resection. These endoscopic interventions are minimal invasive treatment options usually done with sedation on an outpatient basis. The aim of this trial is to determine the safety and effectiveness of dexmedetomidine sedation compared to the standard used propofol TCI sedation during endoscopic oesophageal interventions.
The study will be performed as a randomized controlled trial. The first 64 consenting patients will be randomized to either the propofol or the dexmedetomidine group. Following endoscopy patients and gastroenterologists have to fill in questionnaires (PSSI, CSSI) (see abbreviations) about their sedation experiences. Additionally, patients have to accomplish the Trieger test before and after the procedure. Patient monitoring includes time adapted HR, SO2, ECG, NIBP, exCO2, NICO, sweat conductance measurement, OAA/S, and the Aldrete score. Effectiveness of sedation, classified by satisfaction levels and pain and sedation score measured by questionnaires is the primary outcome parameter. Respiratory and hemodynamic complications are surrogate parameters for the secondary outcome parameter “safety”.
The acceptance level among patients after propofol sedation is high. Dexmedetomidine is a relatively new representative for procedural sedation. Has this new form of conscious sedation the potential to be safer and more effective for patients and endoscopists than propofol during endoscopic oesophageal interventions?
Trial registration
This trial is registered in the ISRCTN Register (ISRCTN 68599804). It will be conducted in accordance with the protocol and in compliance with the moral, ethical, and scientific principles governing clinical research as set out in the Declaration of Helsinki (1989) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The Departments of Anesthesiology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology of the Academic Medical Center of Amsterdam are responsible for the design and conduct of the trial.
PMCID: PMC3922843  PMID: 24377675
Procedural sedation; Dexmedetomidine; Endoscopic oesophageal intervention
10.  Heliox Allows for Lower Minute Volume Ventilation in an Animal Model of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78159.
Helium is a noble gas with a low density, allowing for lower driving pressures and increased carbon dioxide (CO2) diffusion. Since application of protective ventilation can be limited by the development of hypoxemia or acidosis, we hypothesized that therefore heliox facilitates ventilation in an animal model of ventilator–induced lung injury.
Sprague-Dawley rats (N=8 per group) were mechanically ventilated with heliox (50% oxygen; 50% helium). Controls received a standard gas mixture (50% oxygen; 50% air). VILI was induced by application of tidal volumes of 15 mL kg-1; lung protective ventilated animals were ventilated with 6 mL kg-1. Respiratory parameters were monitored with a pneumotach system. Respiratory rate was adjusted to maintain arterial pCO2 within 4.5-5.5 kPa, according to hourly drawn arterial blood gases. After 4 hours, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained. Data are mean (SD).
VILI resulted in an increase in BALF protein compared to low tidal ventilation (629 (324) vs. 290 (181) μg mL-1; p<0.05) and IL-6 levels (640 (8.7) vs. 206 (8.7) pg mL-1; p<0.05), whereas cell counts did not differ between groups after this short course of mechanical ventilation. Ventilation with heliox resulted in a decrease in mean respiratory minute volume ventilation compared to control (123±0.6 vs. 146±8.9 mL min-1, P<0.001), due to a decrease in respiratory rate (22 (0.4) vs. 25 (2.1) breaths per minute; p<0.05), while pCO2 levels and tidal volumes remained unchanged, according to protocol. There was no effect of heliox on inspiratory pressure, while compliance was reduced. In this mild lung injury model, heliox did not exert anti-inflammatory effects.
Heliox allowed for a reduction in respiratory rate and respiratory minute volume during VILI, while maintaining normal acid-base balance. Use of heliox may be a useful approach when protective tidal volume ventilation is limited by the development of severe acidosis.
PMCID: PMC3799754  PMID: 24205139
11.  Effects of helium and air inhalation on the innate and early adaptive immune system in healthy volunteers ex vivo 
Helium inhalation protects myocardium, brain and endothelium against ischemia/reperfusion injury in animals and humans, when applied according to specific “conditioning” protocols. Before widespread use of this “conditioning” agent in clinical practice, negative side effects have to be ruled out. We investigated the effect of prolonged helium inhalation on the responsiveness of the human immune response in whole blood ex vivo.
Male healthy volunteers inhaled 30 minutes heliox (79%He/21%O2) or air in a cross over design, with two weeks between measurements. Blood was withdrawn at T0 (baseline), T1 (25 min inhalation) and T2-T5 (1, 2, 6, 24 h after inhalation) and incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoteichoic acid (LTA), T-cell stimuli anti-CD3/ anti-CD28 (TCS) or RPMI (as control) for 2, 4 and 24 hours or not incubated (0 h). An additional group of six volunteers inhaled 60 minutes of heliox or air, followed by blood incubation with LPS and RPMI. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) was analyzed by cytometric bead array. Statistical analysis was performed by the Wilcoxon test for matched samples.
Incubation with LPS, LTA or TCS significantly increased TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-γ and IL-2 in comparison to incubation with RPMI alone. Thirty min of helium inhalation did not influence the amounts of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-γ and IL-2 in comparison to air. Sixty min of helium inhalation did not affect cytokine production after LPS stimulation.
We conclude that 79% helium inhalation does not affect the responsiveness of the human immune system in healthy volunteers.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register: NTR2152
PMCID: PMC3495766  PMID: 23006534
Noble gas; Side effects; Cell-mediated immunity; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Whole blood stimulation
12.  Remote Ischemic Conditioning to Protect against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e42179.
Remote ischemic conditioning is gaining interest as potential method to induce resistance against ischemia reperfusion injury in a variety of clinical settings. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate whether remote ischemic conditioning reduces mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events, length of stay in hospital and in the intensive care unit and biomarker release in patients who suffer from or are at risk for ischemia reperfusion injury.
Methods and Results
Medline, EMBASE and Cochrane databases were searched for randomized clinical trials comparing remote ischemic conditioning, regardless of timing, with no conditioning. Two investigators independently selected suitable trials, assessed trial quality and extracted data. 23 studies in patients undergoing cardiac surgery (15 studies), percutaneous coronary intervention (four studies) and vascular surgery (four studies), comprising in total 1878 patients, were included in this review. Compared to no conditioning, remote ischemic conditioning did not reduce mortality (odds ratio 1.22 [95% confidence interval 0.48, 3.07]) or major adverse cardiovascular events (0.65 [0.38, 1.14]). However, the incidence of myocardial infarction was reduced with remote ischemic conditioning (0.50 [0.31, 0.82]), as was peak troponin release (standardized mean difference −0.28 [−0.47, −0.09]).
There is no evidence that remote ischemic conditioning reduces mortality associated with ischemic events; nor does it reduce major adverse cardiovascular events. However, remote ischemic conditioning did reduce the incidence of peri-procedural myocardial infarctions, as well as the release of troponin.
PMCID: PMC3409156  PMID: 22860077
13.  Effect of remote ischemic conditioning on atrial fibrillation and outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting (RICO-trial) 
BMC Anesthesiology  2011;11:11.
Pre- and postconditioning describe mechanisms whereby short ischemic periods protect an organ against a longer period of ischemia. Interestingly, short ischemic periods of a limb, in itself harmless, may increase the ischemia tolerance of remote organs, e.g. the heart (remote conditioning, RC). Although several studies have shown reduced biomarker release by RC, a reduction of complications and improvement of patient outcome still has to be demonstrated. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common complications after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), affecting 27-46% of patients. It is associated with increased mortality, adverse cardiovascular events, and prolonged in-hospital stay. We hypothesize that remote ischemic pre- and/or post-conditioning reduce the incidence of AF following CABG, and improve patient outcome.
This study is a randomized, controlled, patient and investigator blinded multicenter trial. Elective CABG patients are randomized to one of the following four groups: 1) control, 2) remote ischemic preconditioning, 3) remote ischemic postconditioning, or 4) remote ischemic pre- and postconditioning. Remote conditioning is applied at the arm by 3 cycles of 5 minutes of ischemia and reperfusion. Primary endpoint is the incidence AF in the first 72 hours after surgery, detected using a Holter-monitor. Secondary endpoints include length-of-stay on the intensive care unit and in-hospital, and the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events at 30 days, 3 months and 1 year.
Based on an expected incidence in the control group of 27%, 195 patients per group are needed to detect with 80% power a reduction by 45% following either pre- or postconditioning, while allowing for a 10% dropout and at an alpha of 0.05. With the combined intervention expected to be stronger, we need 75 patients in this group to detect a reduction in incidence of AF of 60%.
The RICO-trial (the effect of Remote Ischemic Conditioning on atrial fibrillation and Outcome) is a randomized controlled multicenter trial, designed to investigate whether remote ischemic pre- and/or post-conditioning of the arm reduce the incidence of AF following CABG surgery.
Trial registration under NCT01107184.
PMCID: PMC3119027  PMID: 21605453
14.  Morphine induces preconditioning via activation of mitochondrial KCa channels 
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia  2010;57(8):767-773.
Mitochondrial calcium sensitive potassium (mKCa) channels are involved in cardioprotection induced by ischemic preconditioning. In the present study we investigated whether morphine-induced preconditioning also involves activation of mKCa channels.
Isolated rat hearts (six groups; each n = 8) underwent global ischemia for 30 min followed by a 60-min reperfusion. Control animals were not further treated. Morphine preconditioning (MPC) was initiated by two five-minute cycles of morphine 1 μM infusion with one five-minute washout and one final ten-minute washout period before ischemia. The mKCa blocker, paxilline 1 μM, was administered, with and without morphine administration (MPC + Pax and Pax). As a positive control, we added an ischemic preconditioning group (IPC) alone and combined with paxilline (IPC + Pax). At the end of reperfusion, infarct sizes were determined by triphenyltetrazoliumchloride staining.
Infarct size was (mean ± SD) 45 ± 9% of the area at risk in the Control group. The infarct size was less in the morphine or ischemic preconditioning groups (MPC: 23 ± 8%, IPC: 20 ± 5%; each P < 0.05 vs Control). Infarct size reduction was abolished by paxilline (MPC + Pax: 37 ± 7%, P < 0.05 vs MPC and IPC + Pax: 36 ± 6%, P < 0.05 vs IPC), whereas paxilline alone had no effect (Pax: 46 ± 7%, not significantly different from Control).
Cardioprotection by morphine-induced preconditioning is mediated by activation of mKCa channels.
PMCID: PMC2899019  PMID: 20461490
Morphine; Preconditioning; mKCa; Infarct size
15.  Influence of the interleukin-converting enzyme inhibitor HMR-3480 on myocardial stunning in pigs in vivo 
The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta is converted into its active form by interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE). Circulating cytokines may promote myocardial dysfunction (stunning) after ischemia.
To investigate whether ICE inhibition by HMR-3840 improves myocardial stunning in vivo.
Anesthetized (isoflurane and fentanyl) pigs were used for measurement of left ventricular (LV) pressure, cardiac output and blood flow in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and left circumflex coronary artery. Regional myocardial function was assessed by sonomicrometry as systolic wall thickening and mean systolic thickening velocity in the anteroapical and posterobasal walls. The animals were subjected to 10 min of LAD occlusion followed by 4 h of reperfusion. The ICE inhibitor (flow-adjusted to achieve coronary plasma concentrations of 10 μg/mL) (ISCH, n=7) or the vehicle (CON, n=7) was infused via a side branch into the LAD during ischemia, or during ischemia and the first 60 min of reperfusion (REP, n=6).
Occlusion of the LAD resulted in systolic outward movement (bulging) of the anteroapical wall during ischemia in all groups. Infusion of the ICE inhibitor had no effect on functional recovery when given during ischemia or when given during reperfusion (at the end of reperfusion in the anteroapical wall, values for systolic wall thickening were: CON 17.3±7.3%, ISCH 23.2±9.8% and REP 19.3±6.1%; and values for mean systolic thickening velocity were: CON 4.3±1.1 mm/s, ISCH 6.1±3.9 mm/s and REP 5.2±1.7 mm/s; all P values not significant for CON versus ISCH or REP). LAD blood flow was not affected by HMR-3840 (23.4±5.2 mL/min versus 24.3±8.1 mL/min; P not significant). Global myocardial function (LV pressure, maximum rate of LV pressure increase and cardiac output) was not different between controls and treatment groups during reperfusion.
ICE inhibition by HMR-3480 had no effect on myocardial stunning in pigs in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2323758  PMID: 18650993
Caspase inhibitor; HMR-3480; Pig; Regional myocardial function; Sonomicrometry; Stunning
16.  Perioperative strategy in colonic surgery; LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care (LAFA trial) 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:16.
Recent developments in large bowel surgery are the introduction of laparoscopic surgery and the implementation of multimodal fast track recovery programs. Both focus on a faster recovery and shorter hospital stay.
The randomized controlled multicenter LAFA-trial (LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care) was conceived to determine whether laparoscopic surgery, fast track perioperative care or a combination of both is to be preferred over open surgery with standard care in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
The LAFA-trial is a double blinded, multicenter trial with a 2 × 2 balanced factorial design. Patients eligible for segmental colectomy for malignant colorectal disease i.e. right and left colectomy and anterior resection will be randomized to either open or laparoscopic colectomy, and to either standard care or the fast track program. This factorial design produces four treatment groups; open colectomy with standard care (a), open colectomy with fast track program (b), laparoscopic colectomy with standard care (c), and laparoscopic surgery with fast track program (d). Primary outcome parameter is postoperative hospital length of stay including readmission within 30 days. Secondary outcome parameters are quality of life two and four weeks after surgery, overall hospital costs, morbidity, patient satisfaction and readmission rate.
Based on a mean postoperative hospital stay of 9 +/- 2.5 days a group size of 400 patients (100 each arm) can reliably detect a minimum difference of 1 day between the four arms (alfa = 0.95, beta = 0.8). With 100 patients in each arm a difference of 10% in subscales of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire and social functioning can be detected.
The LAFA-trial is a randomized controlled multicenter trial that will provide evidence on the merits of fast track perioperative care and laparoscopic colorectal surgery in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
PMCID: PMC1693570  PMID: 17134506
17.  Mechanisms of xenon- and isoflurane-induced preconditioning – a potential link to the cytoskeleton via the MAPKAPK-2/HSP27 pathway 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2005;146(3):445-455.
We previously demonstrated that the anesthetic gas xenon exerts cardioprotection by preconditioning in vivo via activation of protein kinase C (PKC)-ɛ and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). P38 MAPK interacts with the actin cytoskeleton via the MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 (MAPKAPK-2) and heat-shock protein 27 (HSP27). The present study further elucidated the underlying molecular mechanism of xenon-induced preconditioning (Xe-PC) by focusing on a potential link of xenon to the cytoskeleton.Anesthetized rats received either xenon (Xe-PC, n=6) or the volatile anesthetic isoflurane (Iso-PC, n=6) during three 5-min periods interspersed with two 5-min and one final 10-min washout period. Control rats (n=6) remained untreated for 45 min. Additional rats were either pretreated with the PKC inhibitor Calphostin C (0.1 mg kg−1) or with the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 (1 mg kg−1) with and without anesthetic preconditioning (each, n=6). Hearts were excised for immunohistochemistry of F-actin fibers and phosphorylated HSP27. Phosphorylation of MAPKAPK-2 and HSP27 were assessed by Western blot. HSP27 and actin colocalization were investigated by co-immunoprecipitation.Xe-PC induced phosphorylation of MAPKAPK-2 (control 1.0±0.2 vs Xe-PC 1.6±0.1, P<0.05) and HSP27 (control 5.0±0.5 vs Xe-PC 9.8±1.0, P<0.001). Both effects were blocked by Calphostin C and SB203580. Xe-PC enhanced translocation of HSP27 to the particulate fraction and increased F-actin polymerization. F-actin and pHSP27 were colocalized after Xe-PC.Xe-PC activates MAPKAPK-2 and HSP27 downstream of PKC and p38 MAPK. These data link Xe-PC to the cytoskeleton, revealing new insights into the mechanisms of Xe-PC in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1576277  PMID: 16086037
Xenon; cardiac preconditioning; cytoskeleton; F-actin fibers; heat-shock protein 27; MAPKAPK-2
18.  The noble gas xenon induces pharmacological preconditioning in the rat heart in vivo via induction of PKC-ɛ and p38 MAPK 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2004;144(1):123-132.
Xenon is an anesthetic with minimal hemodynamic side effects, making it an ideal agent for cardiocompromised patients. We investigated if xenon induces pharmacological preconditioning (PC) of the rat heart and elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms.For infarct size measurements, anesthetized rats were subjected to 25 min of coronary artery occlusion followed by 120 min of reperfusion. Rats received either the anesthetic gas xenon, the volatile anesthetic isoflurane or as positive control ischemic preconditioning (IPC) during three 5-min periods before 25-min ischemia. Control animals remained untreated for 45 min. To investigate the involvement of protein kinase C (PKC) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), rats were pretreated with the PKC inhibitor calphostin C (0.1 mg kg−1) or the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 (1 mg kg−1). Additional hearts were excised for Western blot and immunohistochemistry.Infarct size was reduced from 50.9±16.7% in controls to 28.1±10.3% in xenon, 28.6±9.9% in isoflurane and to 28.5±5.4% in IPC hearts. Both, calphostin C and SB203580, abolished the observed cardioprotection after xenon and isoflurane administration but not after IPC. Immunofluorescence staining and Western blot assay revealed an increased phosphorylation and translocation of PKC-ɛ in xenon treated hearts. This effect could be blocked by calphostin C but not by SB203580. Moreover, the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK was induced by xenon and this effect was blocked by calphostin C.In summary, we demonstrate that xenon induces cardioprotection by PC and that activation of PKC-ɛ and its downstream target p38 MAPK are central molecular mechanisms involved. Thus, the results of the present study may contribute to elucidate the beneficial cardioprotective effects of this anesthetic gas.
PMCID: PMC1575984  PMID: 15644876
Xenon; cardiac preconditioning; protein kinase C; ischemic preconditioning; mitogen-activated protein kinases; p38 MAPK; calphostin C; SB203580

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