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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2005 Jul;49(6):847-51.

Effect of low-dose N-acetyl-cysteine infusion on tourniquet-induced ischaemia-reperfusion injury in arthroscopic knee surgery.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Reanimation, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



Temporary occlusion of blood flow is used during arthroscopic knee surgery in order to provide a bloodless surgical field. The resulting ischaemia-reperfusion causes lipid peroxidation, which contributes to tissue injury. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of low-dose n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) infusion on oxidative stress by determining malondialdehyde (MDA) levels during arthroscopic knee surgery.


Thirty patients, ASA I - II, undergoing arthroscopic knee debridement under a tourniquet were divided into NAC and control groups. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol, fentanyl and vecuronium bromide and maintained with desflurane in an equal parts O(2)-N(2)O mixture. In the NAC group, an infusion of NAC, 5 mg kg(-1).h(-1), was started after intubation, and continued until extubation. An equal volume of saline was infused to the control group. Duration of ischaemia, anaesthesia time, total dose of NAC infused were also recorded. Venous blood and synovial membrane tissue samples were obtained 10 min after the onset of NAC infusion but before tourniquet inflation (t1), after 30 min of ischaemia (t2), and after 5 min of reperfusion following tourniquet release (t3).


Plasma MDA levels were significantly lower in the NAC group on reperfusion. There were no differences between the groups in tissue MDA levels at ischaemia and reperfusion times.


Low-dose n-acetyl cysteine infusion attenuates lipid peroxidation and ischaemia-reperfusion injury in arthroscopic knee surgery requiring tourniquet application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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