European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 91–95 | Cite as

Sympathoneuronal and sympathoadrenal activation during ketamine anesthesia

  • E. Appel
  • R. Dudziak
  • D. Palm
  • A. Wnuk


The effects of ketamine anesthesia (3 mg/kg i.v.) on cardiovascular parameters and noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) activity in plasma were studied in 12 patients. At 3, 6 and 10 min after induction of anesthesia, a pronounced increase in heart rate (+28%) and in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (+28% and 17% resp.) was observed. Concomitantly noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations increased significantly from 187 to 415 ng/l and from 97 to 271 ng/l, respectively. DBH-activity in plasma remained almost unchanged. From these results it can be concluded that the well known cardiovascular stimulant effect of ketamine is due to greatly enhanced sympatho-neuronal and sympatho-adrenal activity, presumably brought about by a central mechanism of action of the drug. Furthermore, DBH-activity in plasma appeared not to be a reliable index of sympathetic activity in man.

Key words

ketamine sympathoneuronal activity sympathoadrenal activity cardiovascular effects plasma catecholamines 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Appel
    • 1
  • R. Dudziak
    • 1
  • D. Palm
    • 1
  • A. Wnuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Zentrum der Pharmakologie, und Zentrum der Anaesthesiologie und Wiederbelebung Klinikum der Universität Frankfurt/MainFederal Republic of Germany

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