Author: Jeffrey W. Sall, Ph.D., M.D.
Commentary: Long-term Fate Mapping to Assess the Impact of Postnatal Isoflurane Exposure on Hippocampal Progenitor Cell Productivity
Anesthesiology 12 2016, Vol.125, 1090-1091.
THE possibility of neurocognitive dysfunction after early exposure to anesthesia is an area of concern for anesthesiologists. Two recent clinical trials (“General Anaesthesia and Awake-Regional Anaesthesia in Infancy” [GAS] and “Pediatric Anesthesia Neurodevelopment Assessment” [PANDA]) suggest that shorter exposures to anesthesia do not lead to severe deficits in young children; however, it remains less clear whether longer exposures are safe and whether examination of children at an older age using tools specific for other cognitive domains might reveal deficits like those reported in previous retrospective studies. The mechanism that leads to deficits with longer exposures and the age range in which animals (and possibly children) are susceptible is an active area of both preclinical and clinical research. The article by Jiang et al.1 in this issue of Anesthesiology builds on excellent work they have published previously to take a more in-depth look at one of the most common outcomes reported after early anesthesia exposure—brain cell death.
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