Halothane Hepatitis

  • Leo Ranek
Part of the Archives of Toxicology book series (TOXICOLOGY, volume 1)


Halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro-1:1:1-trifluoroethane) is a volatile, nonflammable anaesthetic agent which has been widely used for the last 20 years. Halothane hepatitis has been a matter of continuing controversy, but now it seems to be generally accepted as a clinical entity. Characteristically the halothane hepatitis occurs after multiple exposures to halothane within short time. The pathogenesis of the liver cell damage is obscure. It is estimated that the incidence of halothane hepatitis is about one per 8000 halothane anaesthesias and the lethality about one per 40000. Prophylaxis consists of avoiding repeated halothane anaesthesias within short time and to avoid re-exposure to halothane if otherwise unexplained liver damage has occurred after halothane.


Viral Hepatitis Anaesthetic Agent Fulminant Hepatic Failure Halothane Anaesthesia Multiple Exposure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo Ranek
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Department A, Division of HepatologyRigshospitaletCopenhagen ØDenmark

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