There is initial evidence, at least in cardiac surgery, that total intra-venous anesthesia (usually a propofol-based total intravenous
anesthesia) is associated with an increased mortality when compared to an anesthetic plan including a halogenated anesthetics.
The cardiac protective properties of halogenated agents (desflurane, isoflurane and sevoflurane) have not been confirmed in non-cardiac
surgery and mixed results exist for patients admitted in postoperative intensive care units. This article summarizes the papers with the
most impressive findings in favor of halogenated anesthetics, but it recognizes that, at the same time, there is no evidence based medicine
against the use of propofol, highlighting the need for large randomized trials that should focus on survival.
Keywords: Anesthesia, cardiac surgery, mortality, propofol, halogenated agents, desflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane.
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