Agents and Actions

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 59–62 | Cite as

Impairment of leukocyte myeloperoxidase bactericidal mechanisms with ketamine (Ketalar®)

  • G. M. Pekoe
  • David Peden
  • Knox Van Dyke
Immunosuppression and Inflammation


The ability of general anesthetics to depress immune function may lead to increased risk of infection in surgical patients. Recently, halothane, an inhalational anesthetic, was shown to inhibit neutrophil bactericidal mechanisms, the center of which is the reaction of myeloperoxidase with H2O2 and Cl. This study demonstrates the ability of ketamine, an injectable anesthetic, to interfere with the cytotoxic neutrophil myeloperoxidase-H2O2−Cl reaction, as tested using a luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence assay. Ketamine, due to its phenolic structure, may scavenge the cytotoxic free radical intermediates of this reaction, as shown previously for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This paper, then, identifies a potential mechanism whereby ketamine anesthesia could suppress neutrophil defense mechanisms, thus rendering the surgical patient more susceptible to infection.


H2O2 Ketamine Defense Mechanism Halothane Immune Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Pekoe
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Peden
    • 1
    • 2
  • Knox Van Dyke
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical DepartmentBeecham LaboratoriesBristolUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyWest Virginia University Medical CenterMorgantownUSA

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