Laboratory stress studies found that acute psychological stresses may elicit changes in leukocyte numbers similar to those occurring in physical stresses. Both types of stress evoke - mainly by release of catecholamines - leukocytosis resulting from a release of natural killer cells (NK-cells), of CD8+ T-cells, of monocytes and of neutrophils. However, there is little proof that laboratory stress models can be applied to daily clinical routines. As a likely inductor of an immunological stress response the setting of retrobulbar anaesthesia prior to intraocular surgery permits the study of a short-term painful anaesthetic procedure under highly standardized conditions. This was examined in 16 female patients.
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