Effect of isoflurane versus nicardipine on blood flow of lumbar paraspinal muscles during controlled hypotension for spinal surgery

Tao Chen Lee, Hartmut Buerkle, Ching Jeng Wang, Cheng Loong Liang, Kang Lu, Pao Lin Huang, Ching Hsiao Cheng, Lin Cheng Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

14 Scopus citations


Study Design. This study compared the effects e isoflurane and nicardipine on regional blood flow of the lumbar paraspina muscles. Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine whether treatment with hypotensive agents result in ischemia of the lumbar paraspina muscles, thereby facilitating surgical procedures. Summary of Background Data. Despite the general acceptance of controlled hypotension as effective in reducing blood loss during spinal surgery, the changes of blood flow that occur at the lumbar paraspinal muscles when this technique is applied remain unclear. The use of laser Doppler flowmetry allows changes of muscle blood flow to be easily detected in real time with minimal invasion, thereby allowing differences among distinct pharmacological approaches for induction and maintenance of controlled hypotension to be evaluated. Methods. The prehypotensive and hypotensive (reduction of mean arterial pressure by 20 mm Hg) blood flow of the lumbar paraspinal muscles were assessed with a laser Doppler flowmeter in 40 patients undergoing lumbar spinal surgery. The first half of the patients (n = 20) received isoflurane, whereas the second half received nicardipine to achieve arterial hypotension. Results. Compared with the prehypotensive state, during the hypotensive state, patients in the isoflurane group exhibited a 17% to 46% (mean, 33.7%) decrease in lumbar paraspinal muscle blood flow, whereas patients in the nicardipine group exhibited a 24% to 177% (mean, 82.5%) increase in lumbar paraspinal muscle blood flow. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference in the changes of flux after induced hypotension between the isoflurane and nicardipine group (P < 0.001). Conclusions. Depending on the pharmacological treatment used to achieve arterial hypotension in spine surgery, there will be either a reduction in paraspinal muscle blood flow (ischemia) or an enhancement of this blood flow (hyperemia).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 01 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Controlled hypotension
  • Isoflurane
  • Nicardipine
  • Paraspinal muscles


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