Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
AANA J. 2009 Aug;77(4):287-92.

Effects of anesthetics and analgesics on natural killer cell activity.

Author information

US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, Fort Hood, Texas, USA.


Surgical excision of cancerous tumors and the human stress response can lead to metastasis of tumor cells. Furthermore, the medications used during the perioperative period (eg, opioids and anesthetic agents) have been shown to inhibit or suppress natural killer (NK) cell activity, one of the body's main defenses against spread of cancer. There are currently no anesthetic regimens that have been shown to completely reverse surgical stress-induced suppression of NK cell activity. However, there may be anesthetic techniques that attenuate surgical suppression of NK cell activity. This article reviews the effects of various anesthetics and analgesics on NK cell activity and suggests techniques to attenuate the suppressive effects of these compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center