Vaporized Perfluorocarbon Improves Oxygenation and Pulmonary Function in an Ovine Model of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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Perfluorocarbon liquids are being used experimentally and in clinical trials for the treatment of acute lung injury. Their resemblance to inhaled anesthetic agents suggests the possibility of application by vaporization. The authors' aim was to develop the technical means for perfluorocarbon vaporization and to investigate its effects on gas exchange and lung function in an ovine model of oleic acid-induced lung injury.


Two vaporizers were calibrated for perfluorohexane and connected sequentially in the inspiratory limb of a conventional anesthetic machine. Twenty sheep were ventilated in a volume controlled mode at an inspired oxygen fraction of 1.0. Lung injury was induced by intravenous injection of 0.1 ml oleic acid per kilogram body weight. Ten sheep were treated with vaporized perfluorohexane for 30 min and followed for 2 h; 10 sheep served as controls. Measurements of blood gases and respiratory and hemodynamic parameters were obtained at regular intervals.


Vaporization of perfluorohexane significantly increased arterial oxygen tension 30 min after the end of treatment (P < 0.01). At 2 h after treatment the oxygen tension was 376 +/- 182 mmHg (mean +/- SD). Peak inspiratory pressures (P < 0.01) and compliance (P < 0.01) were significantly reduced from the end of the treatment interval onward.


Vaporization is a new application technique for perfluorocarbon that significantly improved oxygenation and pulmonary function in oleic acid-induced lung injury.

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