This editorial critiques the study by Salaün et al as it attempts to translate findings on the effects of anesthesia in neonatal rodents to children. There are many problems with this comparison: 1) investigators have no access to past anesthesia records in human subjects; 2) children and rodents receive different anesthetic agents; 3) the ages of children and rodents are incongruous; 4) the brain regions affected in children and rodents are anatomically different; 5) the source of data on children contains no information on the criteria for baseline cognitive and behavioral status; 6) 7/24 children enter the study with a type of surgery already linked to cognitive and behavioral deficits, and loss of gray matter in adulthood; 7) the comparison of deranged contextual fear conditioning in rodents to lower emotional control in children is “a leap of faith.”

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McCann, Mary Ellen MD, MPH; Soriano, Sulpicio G. MD
Anesthesia & Analgesia
February 2023

Editorial in response to this original research paper.