The objectives of this study were to determine whether high doses of fentanyl anesthesia reduced the surgical stress level and to elucidate the effect of fentanyl anesthesia on protein turnover after esophagectomy. Seventeen male patients with esophageal cancer were divided into two groups, conventional anesthesia (CA) and fentanyl anesthesia (FA). The FA patients received 134.0 ± 15.3 μg/kg fentanyl citrate and the CA patients 15.7 ± 7.4 μg/kg fentanyl during the surgery. Protein turnover was measured by the method of bolus infusion of [15N]glycine (1 g). High dose of fentanyl anesthesia reduced cortisol levels during the surgery (CA 38.0 ± 13.8 pg/ml vs FA 13.5 ± 2.4, P < 0.05) and interleukin-6 levels in the plasma after the surgery (P < 0.02). The postoperative nitrogen retention was greater with fentanyl anesthesia than with conventional anesthesia. Both protein synthesis and breakdown rates were increased with fentanyl anesthesia, while they were unaltered in CA patients. Postoperative fibrinogen synthesis rate was greater with FA than with CA (CA 51.1 ± 9.2%/day vs FA 100.9 ± 14.0, P < 0.01). The protein turnover and fibrinogen synthesis data suggested a shorter duration of shock phase in FA patients than in CA patients. We concluded that a high dose of fentanyl anesthesia reduced surgical stress levels and shortened the postoperative shock phase, resulting in a nitrogen-sparing effect.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes