Nitrous Oxide Use in General Anesthesia Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Risk, Study Finds
October 29, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System
The use of nitrous oxide in general anesthesia for major noncardiac surgery does not increase the risk of cardiovascular complications or mortality, according to the results of a study published in the October 18, 2014, issue of theLancet. The study enrolled 7,112 patients age 45 years or older with known or suspected coronary artery disease who underwent major noncardiac surgery between May 30, 2008, and September 28, 2013. The patients were randomly assigned to receive a general anesthetic either with or without nitrous oxide and then evaluated for the occurrence of death or cardiovascular complications (e.g., nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest) within 30 days of surgery.