DOI: The Greek E-Journal of Perioperative Medicine 2007; 5:1-10



Cell protection against hypoxia can be mediated by brief periods of sublethal ischemia, a phenomenon called ‘preconditioning’. The molecular mechanisms that are responsible for cell protection are extremely complicated; however, extensive research in molecular biology and cellular physiology has uncovered many different signaling pathways, especially in cardiac tissues. Except for ischemia, it seems that many anesthetic medications, such as volatile anesthetics and opioids, can induce or alter different signaling cascade reactions associated with cell rescue from oxygen lack. The above phenomenon is called anesthetic preconditioning and is considered to be highly cardio-protective.

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