Hepatic glutathione S-transferase release after halothane anaesthesia: open randomised comparison with isoflurane

L G Allan, A J Hussey, J Howie, G J Beckett, A F Smith, J D Hayes, G B Drummond

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Plasma concentrations of hepatic glutathione S-transferase (GST) are a more sensitive measure of acute hepatic damage than aminotransferase activity. Plasma GST concentrations have been measured by radioimmunoassay in an open randomised study after halothane or isoflurane anaesthesia. The concentration of GST was significantly increased after anaesthesia in patients who received halothane in 30% oxygen/70% nitrous oxide (n = 37) and in patients who received halothane in 100% oxygen (n = 17). The frequency of abnormal GST concentrations, defined as 4 micrograms/l or more, was 35% and 24%, respectively. GST concentrations usually reached a peak 3-6 h after the end of anaesthesia. In 17 patients who received isoflurane in 30% oxygen/70% nitrous oxide, there was no significant rise in GST concentration and no patient had a concentration above 4 micrograms/l. No patient in any of the groups had a significant increase in alanine aminotransferase. In clinically identical situations, anaesthesia with halothane but not isoflurane leads to demonstrable impairment of hepatocellular integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-4
Number of pages4
Issue number8536
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 1987


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation/adverse effects
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/etiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Glutathione Transferase/blood
  • Halothane/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Isoflurane/adverse effects
  • Liver/enzymology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Random Allocation


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