Introduction: Surgery is supposed to modulate the production of carbon monoxide by the reduction of heme oxygenase activity or transcriptional regulation of inducible heme oxygenase. On the other hand, the inhalation of tobacco smoke can substantially raise the level of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood. Furthermore, methemoglobin is maintained at a constant level. However, excessive production of methemoglobin relative to total methemoglobin reductase activity results in methemoglobin increase. Aim: The aim of our study was to investigate the perioperative variations of carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin during urologic surgeries, and at the same time to evaluate the changes in methemoglobin as a possible indicator of nitric oxide generation. Our second aim was to evaluate the effect of preoxygenation on the level of carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin and the influence of blood transfusion on their changes. Material and methods: The study included 30 patients scheduled for urologic surgery under general endotracheal anesthesia, aged 1860 years without any history of respiratory disease, divided into two groups. The study group comprised patients who were smoking cigarettes or tobacco pipe, while the control group included non-smokers. In both groups carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and methemoglobin (MetHb) levels were determined preoperatively, after preoxygenation, and postoperatively. Results: COHb levels were decreased postoperatively in both groups. The average values of COHb between the two groups were statistically significantly different (p=0.00). MetHb levels increased postoperatively in the group of smokers and decreased in the group of non-smokers. There were no statistically significant differences in the average postoperative MetHb levels between the two groups. Conclusion: Changes in carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin concentrations in arterial blood occur during urologic surgery, although these amplitudes are small when compared with carbon monoxide intoxication and methemoglobinemia. It is likely that organ perfusion and functions are affected by these monoxide gas mediators during urologic surgery.
carboxyhemoglobin;methemoglobin;hemoglobin perioperative;urologic surgery