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Acta Anaesthesiol Belg. 2011;62(1):47-58.

The anti-inflammatory effects of ketamine: state of the art.

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Intensive Care Unit, Jolimont Hospital, La Louvibre, Belgium.


Inflammation is a major component in keeping the body in homeostasis. However, an overwhelmed inflammatory response may be associated to a loss of this homeostatic status, which may lead to tissue injury or organ dysfunction. A huge number of drugs interacts with the inflammatory response in a positive, negative or "dual" manner. Among these drugs, ketamine seems to have a significant positive effect on the regulation of inflammation. This NMDA-receptor antagonist acts at different levels of inflammation, interacting with inflammatory cells recrutment, cytokins production, and inflammatory mediators regulation. The resultant effect of these interactions confers to ketamine a anti-proinflammatory effect by limiting exacerbation of systemic inflammation without affecting local healing processes. This review makes a complete overview of the immunomodulatory properties of this complex anesthetic substance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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