Whether inflammatory responses to surgery are comparably activated during total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and during volatile anesthesia remains unclear. We thus compared the perioperative effects of TIVA and isoflurane anesthesia on plasma concentrations of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory interleukins and cell adhesion molecules.
Patients having laparoscopic cholecystectomies were randomly allocated to two groups: 44 were assigned to TIVA and 44 to isoflurane anesthesia. IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13, and the cellular adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 were determined preoperatively, before incision, and at 2 and 24 hours postoperatively. Our primary outcomes were area-under-the-curve cytokine and adhesion molecule concentrations over 24 postoperative hours.
The only statistically significant difference in area-under-the-curve concentrations was for IL-6, which was greater in patients given isoflurane:78 (95% confidence interval (CI): 52 to 109) pg/ml versus 33 (22 to 50) pg/ml, P= 0.006. Two hours after surgery, IL-6 was significantly greater than baseline in patients assigned to isoflurane: 47 (95% CI: 4 to 216, P<0.001) pg/ml versus 18 (95%CI: 4 to 374, P<0.001) pg/ml in the TIVA group. In contrast, IL-10 was significantly greater in patients assigned to TIVA: 20 (95% CI: 2 to 140, P<0.001) pg/ml versus 12 (95% CI: 3 to 126, P<0.001) pg/ml. By 24 hours after surgery, concentrations were generally similar between study groups and similar to baseline values.
The only biomarker whose postoperative area-under-the-curve concentrations differed significantly as a function of anesthetic management was IL-6. Two hours after surgery, IL-6 concentrations were significantly greater in patients given isoflurane than TIVA. However, the differences were modest and seem unlikely to prove clinically important. Further studies are needed.