Which statement about the effects of etomidate on cerebral physiology is most likely true?

Etomidate’s mechanism of action is to promote inhibitory neuron activity through γ-aminobutyric acid receptor activation. Because etomidate has minimal effects upon cardiovascular physiology and cerebral perfusion pressure, it is commonly used to induce anesthesia in hemodynamically unstable patients.

Etomidate’s effects on cerebral physiology are generally favorable. An induction dose of etomidate results in a 34 percent reduction in cerebral blood flow and a 45 percent reduction in cerebral metabolic rate (CMR). In larger doses, etomidate administration will cause burst suppression on an electroencephalogram, but no further reduction in CMR is observed. While isoflurane or barbiturates cause a diffuse reduction in CMR, etomidate variably reduces CMR in different parts of the brain, especially the forebrain structures.

Anesthesiology Continuing Education (ACE) is a self-study CME program that...

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