• Cortisol;
  • general anesthesia;
  • hip prosthesis;
  • hypotension;
  • hypoxemia;
  • methylmethacrylate;
  • spinal anesthesia

The effects of cementation on arterial blood pressure, arterial oxygen tension and plasma levels of cortisol were studied in 30 patients with femoral neck fracture treated with the Thompson prosthesis in spinal (n = 15) or general (n= 15) anaesthesia. In spinal anaesthesia hypotension of clinical importance was observed coincidentally with the use of methylmethacrylate, while the levels of plasma cortisol remained unchanged. A significant rise was noted in arterial blood pressure and plasma levels of cortisol after cementation in general anaesthesia. Arterial oxygen tension fell in both groups. These findings indicate that the hypotension frequently reported in connection with cementation is triggered by a complex mechanism which can be modified by the anaesthetic technique.