Author(s): Moore CM, Desborough JP, Powell H, Burrin JM, Hall GM
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Abstract Serum concentrations of the cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6), increase after surgical trauma. IL-6 mediates the synthesis of acute phase proteins and stimulates secretion of pituitary hormones. We have examined the time course of circulating IL-6, and cortisol and growth hormone responses in patients undergoing hysterectomy to determine if IL-6 contributes to the early pituitary hormone changes found during surgery. One group (n = 8) received a standardized general anaesthetic while the remaining patients (n = 8) received extradural analgesia to T4-S5 in addition to a similar general anaesthetic. In the general anaesthesia group, there was a significant increase in serum cortisol and growth hormone concentrations before any changes in IL-6 were detected. Furthermore, in the extradural group, in whom these hormonal responses were attenuated, circulating IL-6 concentrations did not differ significantly from the general anaesthesia group. There were no significant differences between the groups in the acute phase response, as measured by circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein and zinc, but the expected effects of extradural block on circulating metabolites and white cell count were demonstrated. We conclude that IL-6 is unlikely to contribute to the initial increases in secretion of pituitary hormones found during surgery, but a later effect of the cytokine on endocrine responses cannot be excluded.
This article was published in Br J Anaesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research