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J Clin Anesth. 2008 Aug;20(5):347-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2008.03.005.

Frequency of electrocardiographic changes indicating myocardial ischemia during elective cesarean delivery with regional and general anesthesia: detection based on continuous Holter monitoring and serum markers of ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Baskent University, 42080, Konya, Turkey. rafidogan@yahoo.com



To determine the frequency of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes and to assess the occurrence of myocardial ischemia during elective cesarean delivery with either regional or general anesthesia.


Randomized, prospective, single-blinded clinical trial.


Large referral hospital.


40 ASA physical status I and II term parturients.


Patients were divided randomly into two groups as follows: the regional anesthesia group (group 1, n = 20) and the general anesthesia group (group 2, n = 20).


In each case, continuous ECG was done using a 7-lead Holter monitor in the operating room, continuing for 24 hours after surgery. All Holter traces were analyzed by a study-blinded cardiologist. Blood samples were collected preoperatively (baseline) and at one, 5, and 24 hours postoperatively. Serum troponin T, creatinine kinase-MB, and myoglobin levels were measured.


Two patients in group 1 (10%) and one patient in group 2 (5%) showed one mm ST-segment depression for two to 5 minutes. In all 40 cases, troponin T levels were in the normal range at all time points studied. In both groups, mean serum creatinine kinase-MB and myoglobin levels at one and 5 hours postoperatively were significantly higher than at baseline (P < 0.05). These high CK-MB and myoglobin levels were returned to normal ranges at the end of the study period; none of these women showed ST-segment changes.


The ST-segment changes are not frequent in healthy women undergoing elective cesarean delivery during either regional or general anesthesia, and we found no evidence of myocardial injury.

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