Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




This study aims to determine the possible embryotoxic effects of propofol on the cerebellum and spinal cord using fertile chicken eggs. Materials and methods: A total of 430 fertile eggs were divided into 5 groups: control, saline, 2.5 mg.kg–1, 12.5 mg.kg–1, and 37.5 mg.kg–1 propofol. Injections were made immediately before incubation via the air chamber. On the 15th, 18th, and 21st day of incubation, 6 embryos from each group were evaluated. Serial paraffin sections taken from the cerebellum and spinal cord were stained with hematoxylin–eosin, Kluver–Barrera, toluidine blue, and periodic acid-Schiff ’s reaction. The outer granular layer and total cortex thickness were measured, and the linear density of the Purkinje cells was determined. The ratios of the substantia grisea surface area to the total surface area of the spinal cord were calculated. The transverse and longitudinal diameters of the canalis centralis were also assessed.Results: No structural malformation was observed in any embryos examined macroscopically. No significant difference was observed between the groups in terms of development and histologic organization of the cerebellum and spinal cord. However, on the 15th, 18th, and 21st day, the outer granular layer (p < 0.001 for all days) and the total cortex thickness (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively) decreased significantly in different propofol dose groups in varying degrees in the cerebellum. Similarly, in the spinal cord, there were significant changes in the ratios of the substantia grisea surface area to the total surface area (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: It was concluded that the in-ovo-administered propofol given immediately before incubation has adverse effects on the developing cerebellum and spinal cord. Therefore, it is important for anesthesiologists always to remain vigilant when treating female patients of childbearing age.


Central nervous system, CHEST, chicken embryo, embryotoxicity, propofol

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