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J Int Med Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;34(4):374-84.

Comparison of the effects of sevoflurane and propofol anaesthesia on regional cerebral glucose metabolism in humans using positron emission tomography.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, ASAN Medical Centre, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This study compared brain glucose metabolism during sevoflurane anaesthesia and propofol anaesthesia using positron emission tomography (PET) in the same eight human volunteers. All the volunteers were anaesthetized twice, with a 1-week interval. Half of the volunteers received sevoflurane on the first occasion and propofol on the second; the other half received the two anaesthetics in the reverse order. PET scans using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose were performed after sevoflurane or propofol anaesthesia. The relative glucose metabolic rate (rGMR) in the brain was assessed with statistical parametric mapping. Propofol suppressed the rGMR of the neocortex area more than sevoflurane, and sevoflurane suppressed the rGMR of the paleocortex and telencephalon more than propofol. These findings suggest that these two anaesthetics act via different mechanisms and may provide an important clue to the relationship between anaesthesia and the brain.

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