Hemodynamic responses to epinephrine-containing local anesthetic injection and to emergence from general anesthesia in transsphenoidal hypophysectomy patients

Jeffrey J. Pasternak, John L.D. Atkinson, Jan L. Kasperbauer, William L. Lanier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

30 Scopus citations


Patients undergoing transsphenoidal pituitary surgery may experience hypertensive episodes during the intranasal injection of vasoconstrictor- supplemented local anesthetics or emergence from general anesthesia. The present research characterized the blood pressure responses during transsphenoidal surgery and tested the hypothesis that the underlying pituitary disease influences the incidence and magnitude of the blood pressure responses. The records of 100 patients were retrospectively reviewed. All had direct blood pressure measurements recorded using a computer-based anesthesia recording system. Mean age was 49 ± 17 years (± SD) and 52% were male. Blood pressure increased by 60 ± 37 mm Hg systolic and 23 ± 22 mm Hg diastolic with intranasal injection and 42 ± 24 mm Hg systolic and 23 ± 16 mm Hg diastolic during emergence from general anesthesia. Systolic blood pressure increased by greater than 50% in 58% of patients following intranasal injection and in 33% of patients upon emergence from anesthesia. Blood pressure responses did not differ with respect to endocrinopathy type (Cushing's disease, acromegaly, or other pathology), gender, age, surgeon, history of prior transsphenoidal surgery, history of either hypertension or diabetes, or preoperative use of either beta-adrenergic or calcium channel-blocking drugs. There was poor correlation between the epinephrine dose injected (range 30-220 μg) and systolic blood pressure response (r = 0.24; r2 = 0.06; P = 0.031). Blood pressure increases were not associated with cardiac arrhythmias, persistent myocardial ischemia, or myocardial infarction. The authors conclude that in transsphenoidal hypophysectomy patients, large blood pressure increases are common with intranasal injection and upon awakening from general anesthesia. However, the authors were not able to find a variable that might enable the prediction of which patients are most likely to experience the most intense blood pressure elevations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004



  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing's disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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