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Lancet. 1975 Apr 12;1(7911):817-20.

Controlled prospective study of the effect on liver function of multiple exposures to halothane.


Patients who had received halothane within a periof of one year and who required another anaesthetic were allocated at random to be given halothane or a control anaesthetic, the control being fiben using halothane-free apparatus. There were 76 patients entries in each group. Serum-glutamic-oxaloacetic-transaminase (S.G.O.T.) levels were measured before the anaesthetics and serially postoperatively for two to three weeks. The S.G.O.T. levels in the halothane group were significantly higher than in the controls. High levels were confined to patients who had had less than four previous halothane anaesthetics, increases above normal in the remainder and in the controls being rate. 1 patient in the halothane group had an S.G.O.T. of 440 I.U. per litre and hepatocellular necrosis on liver biopsy. 2 patients in the halothane group whose S.G.O.T.s rose to more than twice normal showed a similar reaction to re-exposure to halothane, although they had not shown a reaction to an intervening control anaesthetic.

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