Propofol-based intravenous anesthesia is associated with better survival than desflurane anesthesia in pancreatic cancer surgery

Hou Chuan Lai, Meei Shyuan Lee, Yin Tzu Liu, Kuen Tze Lin, Kuo Chuan Hung, Jen Yin Chen, Zhi Fu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Previous researches have shown that anesthetic techniques can influence the patient outcomes of cancer surgery. Here, we studied the relationship between type of anesthetic and patient outcomes following elective, open pancreatic cancer surgery. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who received elective, open pancreatic cancer surgery between January 2005 and July 2018. Patients were grouped according to the anesthesia they received, namely desflurane or propofol. A Kaplan–Meier analysis was conducted, and survival curves were presented from the date of surgery to death. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression models were used to compare hazard ratios for death after propensity matching. Subgroup analyses were performed for all-cause mortality, cancer-specific mortality, and disease progression. Results A total of 68 patients (56 deaths, 82.0%) under desflurane anesthesia, and 72 patients (43 deaths, 60.0%) under propofol anesthesia were included. Fifty-eight patients remained in each group after propensity matching. The propofol anesthesia was associated with improved survival (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.42–0.99; P = 0.047) in the matched analysis. Subgroup analyses showed significantly better cancer-specific survival (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.40–0.97; P = 0.037) in the propofol group. Additionally, patients under propofol had less postoperative recurrence, but not fewer postoperative metastases formation, than those under desflurane (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% confidence interval, 0.34–0.90; P = 0.028) in the matched analysis. Conclusions In a limited sample size, we observed that propofol anesthesia was associated with improved survival in open pancreatic cancer surgery compared with desflurane anesthesia. Further investigations are needed to inspect the influences of propofol anesthesia on patient outcomes of pancreatic cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233598
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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