Ugeskr Læger 2013;175(3):123-127
Summary Volatile anaesthesias' molecular biological course of action Ugeskr Læger 2013;175(3):123-127 Anaesthesia is extensively used worldwide and in Denmark alone more than 400,000 anaesthesias are performed each year. In spite of that the molecularly mechanism of anaesthesia has not been proven. Hypotheses have been suggested (lipid versus protein theory), but none has yet been able to explain the whole mechanism. Molecular targets for volatile anaesthetics (e.g. potassium and calcium channels), affected areas in the central nervous system and the impact on the cerebral metabolism versus the cerebral blood flow are discussed.