Education  |   April 2018
Exposure of Developing Brain to General Anesthesia: What Is the Animal Evidence?
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.
  • This article is featured in “This Month in Anesthesiology,” page 1A.
    This article is featured in “This Month in Anesthesiology,” page 1A.×
  • Corresponding articles on pages 693 and 697.
    Corresponding articles on pages 693 and 697.×
  • Submitted for publication February 16, 2017. Accepted for publication November 24, 2017.
    Submitted for publication February 16, 2017. Accepted for publication November 24, 2017.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Jevtovic-Todorovic: Department of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12401 East 17th Avenue, Aurora, Colorado 80045. vesna.jevtovic-todorovic@ucdenver.edu. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Education / Review Article / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems
Education   |   April 2018
Exposure of Developing Brain to General Anesthesia: What Is the Animal Evidence?
Anesthesiology 4 2018, Vol.128, 832-839. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002047
Anesthesiology 4 2018, Vol.128, 832-839. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002047
Abstract

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an official warning to all practicing physicians regarding potentially detrimental behavioral and cognitive sequelae of an early exposure to general anesthesia during in utero and in early postnatal life. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration concern is focused on children younger than three years of age who are exposed to clinically used general anesthetics and sedatives for three hours or longer. Although human evidence is limited and controversial, a large body of scientific evidence gathered from several mammalian species demonstrates that there is a potential foundation for concern. Considering this new development in public awareness, this review focuses on nonhuman primates because their brain development is the closest to humans in terms of not only timing and duration, but in terms of complexity as well. The review compares those primate findings to previously published work done with rodents.