Ventilatory Responses to Hypoxia and Hypercapnia during Halothane Sedation and Anesthesia in Man

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To elucidate the effects of halothane on chemical regulation of ventilation in man, the authors studied the ventilatory responses to isocapnic hypoxia and hyperoxic hypercapnia in 33 human subjects while fully conscious and during sedation or anesthesia with halothane, .1, 1.1, or 2 MAC. In each group, the ventilatory effect of intravenous administration of doxapram, .4 mg/kg, was also measured. Halothane, 1.1 and 2 MAC, totally abolished the hypoxic response and nearly abolished the response to doxapram, while leaving the response to CO2 relatively brisk. Halothane, .1 MAC, decreased the responses to hypoxia and doxapram to less than a third of control, but did not alter the response to C02. It is concluded that halothane selectively impairs two ventilatory responses mediated by peripheral chemoreceptors in man.

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