Circadian rhythms in anesthesia and critical care medicine: Potential importance of circadian disruptions

Jason Brainard, Merit Gobel, Karsten Bartels, Benjamin Scott, Michael Koeppen, Tobias Eckle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The rotation of the earth and associated alternating cycles of light and dark - the basis of our circadian rhythms - are fundamental to human biology and culture. However, it was not until 1971 that researchers first began to describe the molecular mechanisms for the circadian system. During the past few years, groundbreaking research has revealed a multitude of circadian genes affecting a variety of clinical diseases, including diabetes, obesity, sepsis, cardiac ischemia, and sudden cardiac death. Anesthesiologists, in the operating room and intensive care units, manage these diseases on a daily basis as they significantly affect patient outcomes. Intriguingly, sedatives, anesthetics, and the intensive care unit environment have all been shown to disrupt the circadian system in patients. In the current review, we will discuss how newly acquired knowledge of circadian rhythms could lead to changes in clinical practice and new therapeutic concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 14 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Per2
  • anesthesia
  • circadian rhythm
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • critical care medicine
  • diabetes mellitus
  • genetic determinants
  • glucose oxidation
  • hypertension
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Circadian rhythms in anesthesia and critical care medicine: Potential importance of circadian disruptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this