European Journal of Anaesthesiology

Original Article

Sevoflurane but not isoflurane can reduce prostacyclin production of endothelial cells

B. Heindl a1c1, F. Reichle a1 and B. F. Becker a2
a1 Ludwig Maximilians University, Department of Anaesthesiology, Munich, Germany
a2 Ludwig Maximilians University, Department of Physiology, Munich, Germany

Article author query
heindl b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
reichle f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
becker bf   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Background and objective: Little is known about the interaction of newer volatile anaesthetics with endothelial eicosanoid production. Sevoflurane may possibly reduce prostacyclin formation. Thus, we compared the influences of sevoflurane and isoflurane on endothelial prostacyclin production.

Methods: Production of prostacyclin of human umbilical vein endothelial cells was measured by the ELISA technique under basal conditions and after stimulation with calcium ionophore A 23187 10 μmol or histamine 0.1 μmol in the absence and presence of 1 and 2 minimal alveolar concentrations (MAC) of sevoflurane or isoflurane.

Results: The basal production of prostacyclin was unaffected by the volatile anaesthetics. Stimulation of endothelial cells increased prostacyclin formation 3–5-fold. Sevoflurane at 2 MAC, but not at 1 MAC, could reduce stimulated prostacyclin production by about half (P < 0.05). Isoflurane had no inhibitory effect. Inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase function by acetylsalicylic acid abolished the induced burst of prostacyclin formation completely.

Conclusions: Sevoflurane, but not isoflurane, can reduce stimulated endothelial prostacyclin production in a concentration-dependent manner. Because at least 2 MAC of sevoflurane were required, this effect should be of minor importance under clinical conditions of balanced anaesthesia.

(Accepted March 2002)

Key Words: ANAESTHETICS, INHALATION, isoflurane, sevoflurane; BLOOD VESSELS, endothelium, vascular; PROSTAGLANDINS, prostacyclin.

c1 Correspondence to: Bernhard Heindl, Department of Anaesthesiology, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Nussbaumstr. 20, D-80336 Munich, Germany. E-mail:; Tel: +49 89 51602691; Fax: +49 89 51604446