Analgesic effect in humans of subanaesthetic isoflurane concentrations evaluated by experimentally induced pain.

Petersen-Felix, S.; Arendt-Nielsen, L.; Bak, P.; Roth, D.; Fischer, M.; Bjerring, P.; Zbinden, A. M. (1995). Analgesic effect in humans of subanaesthetic isoflurane concentrations evaluated by experimentally induced pain. British journal of anaesthesia, 75(1), pp. 55-60. Oxford University Press 10.1093/bja/75.1.55

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The analgesic effect of subanaesthetic concentrations of ether, trichloroethylene, methoxyflurane and halothane has been investigated previously using either clinical assessment or pain threshold measurements, but with conflicting results. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the analgesic effect of isoflurane using experimental pain models. We studied 12 healthy volunteers at three randomly chosen subanaesthetic isoflurane concentrations: low (0.10-0.14 vol%), middle (0.16-0.20 vol%) and high (0.22-0.26 vol%). We used thermal pain detection and pain tolerance thresholds to argon laser stimulation, pressure pain detection and pain tolerance thresholds, immersion of the hand in ice water, and the nociceptive reflex to single and repeated (temporal summation) electrical stimulations, as experimental models to assess analgesia. There were no significant changes in the response to heat, cold or mechanical pressure at any of the subanaesthetic concentrations of isoflurane used. The nociceptive reflex thresholds to single stimulations, but not the thresholds for repeated stimulations, were significantly increased in all three isoflurane groups compared with baseline values. The difference between the different isoflurane concentrations was not statistically significant. In experimental pain models, subanaesthetic isoflurane concentrations have little or no analgesic potency.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Petersen, Steen, Zbinden, Alex Martin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Marceline Brodmann

Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2020 18:26

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:13

Publisher DOI:





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