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Anesthesiology. 1995 Jun;82(6):1364-8.

The minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane in patients undergoing bilateral tubal ligation in the postpartum period.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.



The minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of volatile anesthetics is decreased during pregnancy, but MAC in the early postpartum period has not been reported. The aim of this study was to determine the MAC of isoflurane and to evaluate the relation between MAC and serum progesterone and beta-endorphin in patients after delivery.


Eight patients undergoing elective bilateral tubal ligation during general anesthesia in the early postpartum period (< 12 h postpartum) and eight patients undergoing this procedure in the late postpartum period (12-25 h postpartum) were studied. Eight patients undergoing bilateral tubal ligation more than 6 weeks after delivery served as control subjects. Anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen to a steady end-tidal concentration of 0.8-1.0 vol% for 10 min. Reaction to a standardized electric stimulation applied to the forearm was graded as positive (gross or delayed movement) or negative. By using the bracketing technique, the concentration of isoflurane was increased or decreased by 0.1 vol%, depending on the positive or negative responses.


The MAC (mean +/- SD) in patients in the early postpartum period was significantly less (0.75 +/- 0.17 vol%) than that in control subjects (1.04 +/- 0.12 vol%; P < 0.01) and that in patients in the late postpartum period (0.95 +/- 0.2 vol%; P < 0.05). The difference in MAC values between late postpartum and control was not significant (P > 0.05). There was an inverse correlation between progesterone concentration postpartum and time after delivery (r = -0.527; P = 0.036), but P = 0.744). There was no correlation between plasma progesterone or beta-endorphin and MAC by multiple regression (r = 0.166; P = 0.950).


Isoflurane MAC remains 28% less than normal within the 1st 12 h postpartum and then returns to normal 12-25 h after delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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