Application of the mixed venous blood concentration equation in desflurane anesthesia

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We have previously proposed an equation derived from Fick's law and Lin's concept of effective blood concentration (EBC) to calculate the mixed venous blood concentration (MVBC) of isoflurane. Desflurane has a lower blood/air partition coefficient than isoflurane and, as such, promotes a faster induction and recovery from anesthesia. In this study, we investigated the application of the MVBC equation to predict the MVBC of desflurane.


We maintained anesthesia with a fixed inspired concentration (CI) of desflurane (10%) during cardiac anesthesia in 11 patients. In order to measure the real concentrations of desflurane in mixed venous blood, pulmonary arterial blood samples were collected at different time points via a Swan–Ganz catheter for gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric determination. The relationship between the calculated concentrations and the actual blood sample concentrations of desflurane in mixed venous blood was investigated. Lin's EBC method was also used and the results were compared with those of MVBC.


The calculations from our derived MVBC equation and the actual blood concentrations showed a similar kinetic pattern; the concentration levels were approximately the same and correlated well (r = 0.89) during anesthesia. However, the EBC method failed to accurately estimate the actual blood concentrations.


The results demonstrate that our equation, but not the EBC method, may be useful for estimating pulmonary blood concentrations of desflurane. The clinical significance and the importance of the method merit further investigation.

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