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Effect of halothane on liver enzymes after general anaesthesia

Authors: Eyelade OR, Adelaja OB, Nwobi LN, Adedapo KS
Int J Biol Med Res. 2013; 4(1): 2772-2775  |  PDF File


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of halothane administration on postoperative liver function tests in elective surgical patient requiring general anaesthesia at our institution. Methods: Sixty patients scheduled for elective surgeries under general anaesthesia were enrolled using convenience sampling method. The patients had no history of recent alcohol intake or general anaesthesia in the previous 6 months. There was no hepatic, cardiac or renal disease. Anaesthesia was maintained within 0.75% - 1.5% halothane in 100% oxygen. Three different blood samples were collected from each patient before anaesthesia, 24 hours and 48 hours post-surgery. The plasma level of total bilirubin (TBil), albumin (Alb) and total protein (Tpro) as well as plasma activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT) were determined. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the differences in the mean levels of the three groups of blood samples followed by a post-hoc test using the least significant difference (LSD) method for significant ANOVA results. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: The age range of the patients who were scheduled for elective surgical procedures was between 41 and 72 years. Significant elevations were observed in AST and ALT at 24 (33.27±0.52, 34±0.49) and 48 hours (39.73±0.49, 41.28±0.48) post anaesthesia compared to pre-anaesthesia values (27.2±0.52, 29.93±0.52). There were no significant changes in either the activities of GGT and ALP, or Tbil, Alb and Tpro. Conclusion: Halothane and/or its metabolites could cause a mild increase in liver enzymes suggestive of sub-clinical liver cell alteration which buttresses the fact that halothane anaesthesia is still a safe agent in patients without pre-existing liver disease.