October 31, 1966

Halothane's Effect On Heart Muscle

JAMA. 1966;198(5):40-41. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110180020009

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Halothane inhalation anesthetic has a direct effect on heart muscle apart from any circulatory, nervous, or hormonal influences, animal experiments in progress at Boston University School of Medicine indicate.

Clinical use of halothane began in Britain ten years ago, and in the United States in 1958. Questions of safety were raised in 1963 following isolated reports of massive hepatic necrosis after its use.

National Study  A National Academy of Science-National Research Council study (JAMA197:10 [Sept 5] 1966) of data from 856,500 patients over four years found the death rate following halothane anesthesia to be lower than the overall average and midway among the five general anesthetic practices. Nine cases of massive hepatic necrosis remained unexplained among 82 investigated.

Effects Reported  The study of effects of halothane on mechanical properties of heart muscle was reported to the Philadelphia meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists by Alan H. Goldberg,