We hypothesized that, with oral or intestinal administration of amino acids (AA), we may reduce hypothermia during general anesthesia as effectively as with intravenous AA. We, therefore, examined the effect of bolus oral and continuous intestinal AA in preventing hypothermia in rats. Male Wistar rats were anesthetized with sevoflurane for induction and with propofol for maintenance. In the first experiment, 30 min before anesthesia, rats received one bolus 42 mL/kg of AA solution (100 g/L) or saline orally. Then for the next 3 h during anesthesia, they received 14 mL/kg/h of AA and/or saline intravenously. They were in 4 groups: I-A/A, both AA; I-A/S, oral AA and intravenous saline; I-S/ A, oral saline and intravenous AA; I-S/S, both saline. In the second experiment, rats received 14 mL/kg/h duodenal AA and/or saline for 2 h. They were in 3 groups: II-A/S, duodenal AA and intravenous saline; II-S/A, duodenal saline and intravenous AA; II-S/S, both saline. Core body temperature was measured rectally. After the second experiment, serum electrolytes were examined. In both experiments, rectal temperature decreased in all groups during anesthesia. However, the decrease in rectal temperature was significantly less in groups receiving AA than in groups receiving only saline. In the second experiment, although there was no significant difference in the decrease in body temperature between II- A/S and II-S/A, Na+ concentration was significantly lower in II-S/A. In conclusion, AA, administered orally or intestinally, tended to keep the body temperature stable during anesthesia without disturbing electrolyte balance. These results suggest that oral or enteral AA may be useful for prevention of hypothermia in patients.
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