Sevoflurane Anesthesia Does Not Up Incident Cancer Risk

New cancer within five years of surgery not tied to duration, time of sevoflurane anesthesia

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In cancer-free patients who undergo surgery under sevoflurane anesthesia, neither the duration of anesthesia (TANESTH) nor the time measured with the bispectral index (BIS) under 45 (TBIS<45) are associated with the risk of new malignant disease within five years, according to a study published in the October issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Maj-Lis Lindholm, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues investigated the incidence of cancer within five years after surgery in relation to TANESTH, and TBIS<45. In 2,972 BIS-monitored patients without clinically diagnosed malignant disease at the time of index surgery, new malignant diagnoses after surgery under sevoflurane anesthesia were estimated. The risk of cancer during follow-up in relation to TANESTH and TBIS< 45 was assessed. The incidence of cancer was compared between the surgical population and standardized general population.

The investigators identified 136 new malignant diagnoses in 129 patients in the five years after surgery. No correlation was found between TANESTH or TBIS<45 and new malignant disease. No significant correlation was found with the use of different thresholds for BIS. The standard incidence ratio for new malignant disease was 1.37.

"Neither duration of anesthesia nor increased cumulative time with profound sevoflurane anesthesia was associated with an increased risk for new malignant disease within five years after surgery in previously cancer-free patients," the authors write.

Two of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including Abbott Scandinavia (the manufacturer of sevoflurane). Aspect Medical Systems partially funded the study, loaned BIS monitors, and provided sensors.

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