Halogenated Anesthetics—Are They Hepatotoxic?

JAMA. 1964;187(2):31. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060150111057.
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Do halogenated anesthetics cause liver failure? Although extensive studies in humans "have consistently shown that... administration of halogenated hydrocarbons does not result in direct liver toxicity in the undiseased liver... sporadic clinical reports (less than 25 of the more than 10 million instances of halothane administration since its introduction in 1956) of liver failure following the administration of these halogenated anesthetic agents continue to appear."

Addressing the World Medical Assembly in New York City in October, Valentino Mazzia, MD, chairman of the department of anesthesiology at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and assistant medical examiner of the City of New York, reported a study designed to determine the role of these anesthetics in liver failure associated with surgery. This study, which was worked out in cooperation with New York's Department of Health and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the departments of anesthesiology, surgery, and forensic medicine


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