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Articles by J Wacker
Total Records ( 2 ) for J Wacker
  E Lucchinetti , J Wacker , C Maurer , M Keel , L Harter , K Zaugg and M. Zaugg

BACKGROUND: The noble gas helium is devoid of anesthetic effects, and it elicits cardiac preconditioning. We hypothesized that inhalation of helium provides protection against postocclusive endothelial dysfunction after ischemia-reperfusion of the forearm in humans.

METHODS: Eight healthy male subjects were enrolled in this study with a crossover design. Each volunteer was randomly exposed to 15 min of forearm ischemia in the presence or absence of helium inhalation. Helium was inhaled at an end-tidal concentration of 50 vol% from 15 min before ischemia until 5 min after the onset of reperfusion ("helium conditioning"). Hyperemic reaction, a marker of nitric oxide bioavailability and endothelial function, was determined at 15 and 30 min of reperfusion on the forearm using venous occlusion plethysmography. Expression of the proinflammatory markers CD11b, ICAM-1, PSGL-1, and L-selectin (CD62L) on leukocytes and P-selectin (CD62P), PSGL-1, and CD42b on platelets were measured by flow cytometry during reperfusion.

RESULTS: Ischemia-reperfusion consistently reduced the postocclusive endothelium-dependent hyperemic reaction at 15 and 30 min of reperfusion. Periischemic inhalation of helium at 50 vol% did not improve postocclusive hyperemic reaction. Helium decreased expression of the proinflammatory marker CD11b and ICAM-1 on leukocytes and attenuated the expression of the procoagulant markers CD42b and PSGL-1 on platelets.

CONCLUSIONS: Although inhalation of helium diminished the postischemic inflammatory reaction, our data indicate that human endothelium, which is a component of all vital organs, is not amenable to protection by helium at 50 vol% in vivo. This is in contrast to sevoflurane, which protects human endothelium at low subanesthetic concentrations.

  K Maurer , J Wacker , N Vastani , B Seifert and D. R. Spahn

Intraoperative monitoring of neuronal function is important in a variety of surgeries. The type of general anaesthetic used can affect the interpretation and quality of such recordings. Although the principal effects of general anaesthetics are synaptically mediated, the extent to which they affect excitability of the peripheral afferent nervous system is unclear.


Forty subjects were randomized in a stratified manner into two groups, anaesthetized with either propofol or sevoflurane. The threshold tracking technique (QTRAC®) was used to measure nerve excitability parameters of the sensory action potential of the median nerve before and after induction of general anaesthesia.


Several parameters of peripheral sensory afferent nerve excitability changed after induction of general anaesthesia, which were similar for both propofol and sevoflurane. The maximum amplitude of the sensory nerve action potential decreased in both groups (propofol: 25.3%; sevoflurane: 29.5%; both P<0.01). The relative refractory period [mean (sd)] also decreased similarly in both groups [propofol: –0.6 (0.7) ms; sevoflurane: –0.3 (0.5) ms; both P<0.01]. Skin temperature at the stimulation site increased significantly in both groups [propofol: +1.2 (1.0)°C; sevoflurane: +1.7 (1.4)°C; both P<0.01].


Small changes in excitability of primary sensory afferents after the induction of anaesthesia with propofol or sevoflurane were detected. These effects, which were non-specific and are possibly explained by changes observed in temperature, demonstrate possible anaesthetic effects on intraoperative neuromonitoring.

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