Influence of anaesthesia and surgery on neutrophil chemotaxis
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Chemotactic migration of leucocytes is one of the earliest and essential events among the host defense mechanisms against infection. Therefore, the influence of anaesthesia and surgery on leucocyte chemotaxis was investigated in patients requiring elective surgery. The chemotactic migration of peripheral blood leucocytes was measured by a modification of Boyden's method immediately before and after operation and on the second and third postoperative days. In addition, the influence of exposure to different molar concentrations of thiopentone on chemotactic migration was investigated in vitro. A statistically significant inhibition of leucocyte chemotactic migration was observed in the immediate postoperative period. (P less than 0.05). However, this inhibition was of short duration and chemotactic activity returned to normal on the day after operation under general anaesthesia. Exposure to thiopentone produced a significant and dose dependent inhibition of chemotactic migration in vitro. It is concluded that surgery under general anaesthesia and exposure to thiopentone in vitro produce a significant though reversible inhibition of chemotactic migration of leucocytes.
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