Anesthesiology and Clinical Science Research

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Perspective - Anesthesiology and Clinical Science Research (2023) Volume 7, Issue 1

Theory and practise of multimodal general anaesthesia.

John Greek*

Department of Biomedical Sciences

*Corresponding Author:
John Greek
Department of Biomedical Sciences
State University of New York at Albany

Received:30-Dec-2022, Manuscript No. AAACSR-23-84672; Editor assigned:03-Jan-2023, PreQC No. AAACSR-23-84672(PQ); Reviewed:17-Jan-2023, QC No. AAACSR-23-84672; Revised:23-Jan-2023, Manuscript No. AAACSR-23-84672(R); Published:30-Jan-2023, DOI:10.35841/aaacsr-7.1.135

Citation:Greek J. Theory and practise of multimodal general anaesthesia. Anaesthesiol Clin Sci Res. 2023;7(1):135

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The most widely used management technique in anaesthesia care, balanced general anaesthesia, involves combining the delivery of various medications to produce the anaesthetic state. This strategy was created by anaesthesiologists to avoid relying solely on ether to maintain general anaesthesia. The chance of the intended effects and the likelihood of the adverse effects are increased and decreased, respectively, by the fact that balanced general anaesthesia consumes less of each drug than if it were provided alone. The current practise of balanced general anaesthesia relies nearly entirely on opioids to control nociception intraoperatively and pain postoperatively. Opioids are the most powerful anti-nociceptive drugs; however they can have negative side effects. In addition, the opioid pandemic in the US has been exacerbated by an overuse of opioids. Balanced general anaesthesia procedures are now employing more drugs to induce the anaesthetic state as a result of worries about opioid overuse. These methods, referred to as "multimodal general anaesthesia" may involve the use of additional medications, such as dexmedetomidine and magnesium, both of which have less precise targets for the central nervous system. The idea is to optimise desired results while reducing negative effects by using more medicines in smaller doses. Although this method appears to maximise the benefit-to-side effect ratio, no logical method for selecting the drug combinations has been offered. The main justification for putting a patient under a state of general anaesthesia is nociception brought on by surgery. Therefore, any sensible plan of action should concentrate on postoperative pain management and intraoperative nociception control.


Opioids, General anaesthesia, Nociception.


With the maintenance of physiological stability, general anaesthesia is a drug-induced changeable state that includes amnesia, anti-nociception, immobility, unconsciousness, and other symptoms. The most widely used management technique in anaesthesia care, balanced general anaesthesia, involves providing a variety of different drugs to induce the anaesthetic state. This method was created by anaesthesiologists to prevent sole reliance on ether for maintaining general anaesthesia. According to data, balanced general anaesthesia utilises less of each medication than if it were given alone. This strategy is thought to increase the probability of a drug's desirable effects while decreasing the probability of its negative effects. For induction and maintenance of unconsciousness, balanced general anaesthesia currently uses a hypnotic such as propofol, ether, or a hypnotic infusion. While forgetfulness is implicitly controlled by making the patient unconscious, amnesia is frequently treated with midazolam before induction to decrease anxiety. Additionally, although propofol and inhaled ethers are delivered to promote muscle relaxation, muscle relaxants are administered to create immobility. In order to control nociception during surgery and pain thereafter, balanced general anaesthesia has, up until now, largely relied on opioids given as intermittent boluses or continuous infusions[1].

The nociceptors, ascending nociceptive pathways, and descending nociceptive pathways make up the body's nociceptive system. Nociceptors, which start nociception or pain, are bare, unspecialized nerve cell ends found in viscera and peripheral tissue. One axonal process is sent to the periphery, and the other is sent to the spinal cord or brainstem, from where the cell bodies emerge in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. The ascending routes carry nociceptive inputs from the periphery through the spinal cord to the brainstem, the amygdala, the thalamus, and finally to the primary and secondary sensory cortices. The sensory cortex serves as the starting point for the descending nociceptive pathways, which go to the amygdala and hypothalamus. The periaqueductal grey, the nucleus of the tracts solitaries, the rostral ventral medulla, and the projections from the hypothalamus and amygdala synapse in the midbrain[2].

Because the ascending and descending routes contain a variety of different neurotransmitters and neuronal relays, there are numerous locations at which antinociceptive medications can work to obstruct the processing of nociceptive information. The main idea driving the construction of a multimodal method for nociceptive management, and consequently, multimodal general anaesthesia, is simultaneously targeting numerous targets in the nociceptive system. We concentrate on the local anaesthetic lidocaine, ketamine, magnesium, dexmedetomidine, opioids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications in our review of anti-nociceptive medicines. Giving antinociceptive medications lowers arousal because of the tight links between the nociceptive and arousal pathways[3].

The majority of medications used as antinociceptive agents are opioids, which work by binding to several types of opioid receptors in the periaqueductal grey, spinal cord, amygdala, rostral ventral medulla, and cortex. By reducing conductance of voltage-gated ca2+channels and activation of inward-rectifying potassium channels, binding to opioid receptors interferes with information transfer in the nociceptive circuits. Opioid receptor activation affects the transmission of nociceptive information in two ways: it blocks afferent nociceptive inputs into to the spinal cord and enhances descending suppression of nociceptive inputs starting at the level of the periaqueductal grey. The N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors on peripheral afferent nociceptive neurons that synapse in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord are the target of ketamine's main antinociceptive effects. In the neurological system, glutamate serves as the main excitatory neurotransmitter. Nociceptive impulses cannot enter the spinal cord if nociceptive inputs are blocked at this junction. Both ketamine's antinociceptive effects and its ability to lower arousal are influenced by its interactions with NMDA receptors in the cortex and other areas of the arousal system. At low dosages, ketamine primarily binds to NMDA receptors on inhibitory GABAergic interneurons, disinhibiting pyramidal neurons broadly and promoting diffuse excitatory cortical activity[4].

The multimodal approach also applies to procedures involving regional anaesthesia, such as caesarean births and total knee replacements. An infusion of low-dose propofol was administered for sedation during the surgery and spinal implantation for the total knee replacement. A low-dose propofol infusion was given for sedation during the caesarean birth up until delivery and was stopped at the conclusion of the procedure. To produce multimodal anti-nociception and muscular relaxation, the spinal anaesthetics in both cases combined bupivacaine, clonidine, and morphine. Before closing the skin wounds after their procedures, both patients had field blocks using a combination of ropivacaine, dexmedetomidine, and ketorolac[5].


For anaesthesia management, anaesthesiologists used this one drug nearly entirely. With practise, anaesthesiologists discovered that establishing the anaesthetic state with balanced general anaesthesia increased the likelihood of attaining the desired outcomes while reducing adverse consequences. The recent opioid pandemic and the numerous negative side effects of opioids have sparked efforts to develop novel balanced anaesthesia paradigms that reduce or eliminate the use of opioids. These strategies deliver unconsciousness with amnesia and muscle relaxation while preserving adequate tissue perfusion and sympathetic stability to protect organs. This approach stresses the use of drugs other than opioids to reduce intraoperative stress and maintain analgesia as something that can be accomplished with drugs other than opioids only postoperatively. Simultaneous administration of several antinociceptive drugs to prevent nociceptive trafficking during both general anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia. Each drug focuses on a distinct element of the nociceptive system. Our neural circuit studies offer a neuro physiologically grounded method for comprehending each anaesthetic’s effects and selecting anaesthetic combinations. The substantial additional benefit of suppressing nociceptive transmission is that it lowers alertness, which significantly lowers the amount of hypnotic dosages needed to maintain amnesia and unconsciousness.


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