The purpose of this study was to investigate whether propofol has a neuroprotective effect on the fetal brain after intrauterine ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in the rat fetus. Fetal brain ischemia was induced by clamping the utero-ovarian artery bilaterally for 30 min and reperfusion was achieved by removing the clamps for 2 h. A 40-mg/kg single dose of propofol was administered intraperitoneally 15 min before I/R injury. Lipid peroxidation in the brain tissue was determined as the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) for each fetal rat. Results showed that lipid peroxidation byproducts increased after I/R injury. Maternal treatment with propofol reduced TBARS compared to the I/R group. Propofol has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in intrauterine I/R-induced fetal brain damage in rats. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.