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June 1970

Anesthesiology 1968

Author Affiliations

Tulsa, Okla

Arch Otolaryngol. 1970;91(6):604-607. doi:10.1001/archotol.1970.00770040834021

OF special interest to otolaryngologists who have seen halothane replace ether and other agents was Bunker's1 review of the "Final Report of the National Halothane Study." This much publicized project was undertaken in order to determine the incidence of fatal postoperative hepatic necrosis with the use of halothane anesthesia. The study reported that this complication was a rare occurrence; however, it commonly followed operations associated with high death rates, and could usually be explained on the basis of shock, sepsis, or previous liver disease. Even though nearly a million cases of general anesthesia have produced too few cases of hepatic necrosis to allow statistical comparison of anesthetic agents, the statistical possibility of rare halothane-induced hepatic necrosis could not be ruled out. This incidence would seem too infrequent to be of major clinical concern. Another finding of the study was that halothane had an overall record of safety which was

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