Millions of babies and children undergo anaesthesia every year. Preclinical evidence shows that all common anaesthetic drugs are associated with neuro-apoptosis and neurodevelopmental deficits in immature rodent models. Xenon, a low-potency anaesthetic gas, renowned for producing cardiostable anaesthesia and with neuroprotective properties in multiple pathologies, was recently used to reduce sevoflurane requirements of babies and young children undergoing cardiac catheterisation. Preclinical studies have shown the addition of xenon reduced neuroapoptosis induced by 0.7% isoflurane in vivo and in vitro.

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