Background: General anesthesia (GA) in pediatric patients represents a clinical routine. Factors such as increased birth age and maternal chronic conditions cause more infants to experience hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, an additional risk for anesthesia.

Aim: This study evaluates the effect of one sevoflurane-induced GA episode on the immature brain previously exposed to perinatal asphyxia (PA).

Methods: Postnatal day 6 (PND6) Wistar rats were exposed to a 90-min episode of normoxia/PA and at PND15 to a 120-min episode of normoxia/GA. Four groups were analyzed: Control (C), PA, GA, and PA-GA. Post-exposures, fifteen pups/group were sacrificed and the hippocampi were isolated to assess S-100B and IL-1B protein levels, using ELISA. At maturity, the behavior was assessed by: forced swimming test (FST), and novel object recognition test.

Results: Hippocampal S-100B level was increased in PA, GA, and PA-GA groups, while IL-1B was increased in PA, but decreased in PA-GA. The immobility time was increased in PA and PA-GA, in FST.

Conclusions: Both PA and GA contribute to glial activation, however with no cumulative effect. Moreover, PA reduces the rats’ mobility, irrespective of GA exposure, while memory evaluated by the novel object recognition test was not influenced.

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Isac et al.
Life (Basel, Switzerland) October 2022