Anesthesia and analgesia vol:80 issue:3 pages:573-6
Recent data suggest a negative effect of propofol anesthesia on cortisol secretion. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of propofol anesthesia on the steroidogenic potential of the adrenal glands. The response of cortisol secretion to stimulation with an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) analog during intravenous anesthesia with propofol has not been reported before. The response of the secretion of cortisol, 11-deoxycortisol, and 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone to tetracosactide stimulation was compared in patients anesthetized with propofol-nitrous oxide (n = 10) or thiopental-isoflurane-nitrous oxide (n = 10) and in normal volunteers (n = 10). The response to tetracosactide was similar in all three groups. An adequate increase in cortisol plasma concentration (more than 7.25 micrograms/dL) was obtained in all subjects except one volunteer. The increase in the plasma concentration of the cortisol precursors was also similar. We were unable to detect any influence of propofol anesthesia on the synthesis of cortisol in response to tetracosactide stimulation.