General Anesthesia During the Third Trimester: Any Link to Neurocognitive Outcomes?

Annemaria De Tina, Arvind Palanisamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Rodent studies on the effect of general anesthesia during the third trimester on neurocognitive outcomes are mixed, but primate studies suggest that a clinically relevant exposure to anesthetic agents during the third trimester can trigger neuronal and glial cell death. Human studies are conflicting and the evidence is weak. This is an up-to-date review of the literature on the neurodevelopmental effects of anesthetic agents administered during the third trimester. Early brain development and critical periods of neurodevelopment as it relates to neurotoxicity are highlighted. Rodent, nonhuman primate, and population studies are discussed and placed in the context of clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalAnesthesiology Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Developmental neurotoxicity of anesthetics
  • Fetal neurodevelopment
  • Fetal surgery
  • Maternal anesthesia
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Third trimester anesthesia


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