Background: The spinal cord appears to be the site at which isoflurane suppresses movement that occurs in response to a noxious stimulus. In an attempt to localize its site of suppressant action, the authors determined the effect of isoflurane on dorsal horn neuronal responses to supramaximal noxious stimulation at end-tidal concentrations that just permitted and just prevented movement. Methods: Rats (n = 14) were anesthetized with isoflurane, and after lumbar laminectomy, the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) for each rat was determined using a supramaximal mechanical stimulus. In these same rats, after extracellular microclectrode placement in the lumbar spinal cord, dorsal horn neuronal responses to the supramaximal stimulus were determined at the concentrations of isoflurane that bracketed each rat's MAC (0.1% higher and lower than MAC). The MAC of isoflurane was then re-determined. Results: Dorsal horn neuronal response was 1,757 ± 892 impulses/min at 0.9 MAC and 1,508 ± 988 impulses/min at 1.1 MAC, a 14% decrease (P < 0.05). Cell responses varied, with some cells increasing their response at the higher concentration of isoflurane. The MAC of isoflurane was 1.38 ± 0.2% before and 1.34 ± 0.2% after determination of dorsal horn neuronal responses. Conclusions: Isoflurane, at concentrations that bracket MAC, has a variable and minimal depressant effect on dorsal horn cell responses to noxious mechanical stimulation. These data suggest that the major action of isoflurane to suppress movement evoked by a noxious stimulus might occur primarily at a site other than the dorsal horn.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jan 1999|
- Anesthetic requirements
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine