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Neuroendocrine physiology in anaesthetic practice 

Neuroendocrine physiology in anaesthetic practice
Neuroendocrine physiology in anaesthetic practice

Grainne Nicholson

, and George M. Hall

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date: 04 December 2020

This chapter describes the hormonal, metabolic, and inflammatory response to surgery—commonly known as the surgical stress response. The changes in protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism to provide fuel for oxidation are outlined as well as changes in salt and water metabolism. Psychological sequelae of fatigue and malaise are also common in patients undergoing surgery. Attenuating the metabolic and endocrine changes associated with surgery may reduce postoperative morbidity and expedite recovery; the choice of anaesthetic drugs and techniques (regional vs general anaesthesia) and the increasing use of laparoscopic surgery have all been used to try to achieve this objective. The most common metabolic disease which anaesthetists have to manage is diabetes mellitus (DM) and its pathophysiology and medical management, as well as that of the related metabolic syndrome are discussed. Adrenal tumours are rare but usually require surgical excision. Phaeochromocytomas present unique anaesthetic challenges, but pre-, intra-, and postoperatively in terms of fluid management and blood pressure control. Conn’s syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism) can also result in hypertension and electrolyte disturbances. Cushing’s disease (glucocorticoid excess) presents with the clinical effects of steroid excess and many patients have concomitant DM. Finally, perioperative steroid supplementation for patients already taking steroids and undergoing surgery is discussed.

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