Roy W. DeGrange

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Damage caused by administering general anesthetics to the developing brain in young children and pregnant mothers is of concern among practicing anesthesia providers. Studies using young rodents and non-human primates have shown that animals are susceptible to neurodegeneration when exposed to high concentrations of general anesthesia. Randomized control trials using rodents as subjects used behavioral and histological experiments to determine the adverse effects of general anesthetics including the inhalation agents desflurane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane in addition to intravenous ketamine. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the current literature to determine the effects these anesthetics pose on rodent subjects and how that translates into the human population. This systematic review was constructed using both PRISMA and ARRIVE as guidelines. A literature review was conducted and data was collected from each study. A cross-study analysis was created through data collected from each study by the author of this systematic review. The randomized control trials reviewed provide evidence that the types of inhalation and intravenous anesthesia agents studied can affect the developing brains of rodents. Anesthesia providers can use these results as a guide when administering anesthesia to infants, young children, and gravid mothers, however, more studies focusing on the long-term effects these agents have on children are warranted.

Included in

Nursing Commons