Local application of halothane, isoflurane or sevoflurane increases the response to an electrical stimulus in humans

I. Skouteri, C. Staikou, C. Sarantopoulos, I. Siafaka, Argyro Fassoulaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Volatile anesthetics may interfere with pain perception. This study investigates the effect of halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane when applied locally, to the response of an electrical stimulus. Methods : In this randomized control double-blind crossover study 70 volunteers were studied. In experiment 1 (30 subjects), equipotent liquid volumes of halothane 1 ml, isoflurane 1.5 ml and sevoflurane 2.7 ml were randomly applied on one forearm for 30 minutes. The other forearm received water. Both forearms were exposed to an electrical stimulus. The experiment was repeated the following day in a reverse fashion. In experiments 2 (20 subjects) and 3 (20 subjects) the response to the same stimulus was tested after local application of 2, 4, and 6 ml of halothane or 5 ml of sevoflurane respectively. Results : Low doses of the three anesthetics were associated with an increased response to the electrical stimulus (F = 8.940, df = 1,174, P = 0.003). Higher doses of halothane and sevoflurane had no effect on the response (F = 2.358, df = 1,114, P = 0.127 and t = 0.840, df = 19, P = 0.411 respectively). Conclusions : Low liquid volumes of volatile anesthetics, when applied locally to the skin enhanced the response to an electrical stimulus but higher volumes had no effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalActa anaesthesiologica Belgica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Anesthetics
  • Electrical
  • Nociception, antinociception
  • Stimulus
  • Volatile anesthetics
  • Volatile, halothane, isoflurane, sevoflurane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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