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Nitrous oxide doesn't appear to increase cardiovascular risk during surgery, researchers reported here.

In a randomized controlled trial, there were no differences in levels of the cardiac marker troponin whether patients had nitrous oxide alone, in combination with B vitamins, or neither treatment (P=0.91), Peter Nagele, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues reported during an oral session at the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting here.

There also appeared to be no difference in myocardial infarction (MI) rates, but the study was underpowered to detect that outcome, so "for definitive evidence we'll have to wait for the ENIGMA-II trial," Nagele said during the presentation.

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