The Effects of Volatile Anesthetics on the Calcium Sensitivity of Cardiac Myofilaments

  • Isabelle Murat
  • Renée Ventura-Clapier
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 301)


Volatile anesthetics mainly depress myocardial contractility by their actions on sarcoplasmic reticulum function and on sarcolemmal ionic currents.1 A direct effect of volatile anesthetics on myocardial contractile proteins was first described by Merin in 1974,2 but this was only observed at rather high anesthetic concentrations. Skinned fiber preparations represent an unique model for studying the contractile apparatus itself. Studies on detergent-treated skinned fibers of various animal species have provided evidence for a volatile-anesthetic-induced decrease in both the calcium sensitivity and the maximal developed tension of cardiac myofilaments. These effects are dose-dependent, reversible and quantitatively equivalent for the three currently used anesthetics, halothane, enflurane, and isoflurane.3,4,5 This chapter will review the physiological properties of the contractile proteins and the experimental studies on volatile anesthetic effects.


Volatile Anesthetic Contractile Protein Sarcomere Length Calcium Sensitivity Anesthetic Concentration 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Murat
    • 1
  • Renée Ventura-Clapier
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaHopital Saint-Vincent de PaulParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Cardiaque, INSERM U-241Universite Paris-SudOrsayFrance

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