© The Author(s) 2018.Objective: We compared the effects of sevoflurane and isoflurane on systemic inflammation, sepsis-associated encephalopathy, and memory impairment in a rat sepsis model of cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced polymicrobial peritonitis. Methods: Twenty-four rats were assigned to sham, CLP, CLP + sevoflurane, and CLP + isoflurane groups. At 72 hours after CLP, the rats underwent behavior tests. Serum cytokines were evaluated. Brain tissue samples were collected for determination of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase; the wet/dry weight ratio; myeloperoxidase (MPO) and malondialdehyde (MDA); apoptotic gene release; and histologic examinations. Results: The MPO level, wet/dry weight ratio, and histopathology scores were lower and the Bcl2a1 and Bcl2l2 expressions were upregulated in both the CLP + sevoflurane and CLP + isoflurane groups compared with the CLP group. The interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, MDA, and caspase 3, 8, and 9 levels were lower; the GPX, SOD, Bax, Bcl2, and Bclx levels were higher; and non-associative and aversive memory were improved in the CLP + sevoflurane group compared with the CLP + isoflurane group. Conclusion: Sevoflurane decreased apoptosis and oxidative injury and improved memory in this experimental rat model of CLP. Sevoflurane sedation may protect against brain injury and memory impairment in septic patients.