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Airway pressures during xenon anaesthesia

M. Schmidt, T. Marx, C. Papp-Jambor, H. Reinelt, U. Schirmer
Dept. Cardiac Anaesthesia, University of Ulm, Germany
[Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 13: 208-211, 2009]


Background: Because of the higher density and viscosity of xenon/oxygen mixtures in comparison to nitrogen/oxygen, increases of the pulmonary resistance have been reported. We have investigated the relevance of these findings to practical anaesthesia.
Methods: 14 pigs were randomly assigned to receive either xenon/oxygen or nitrogen/oxygen mixtures (75/25) under condition of normo-, hypo- and hyperventilation. Airway pressures were measured in the ventilator system and endobronchially by an inserted measuring catheter.
Results: Ventilator pressures were significantly higher in xenon ventilated animals as compared with nitrogen/oxygen ventilation. Endobronchial pressures were equal or significantly lower in xenon ventilated animals.
Discussion: Ventilation with xenon/oxygen mixtures leads to a markable pressure decrease along endotracheal tubes.  High ventilator system pressures do not correspond with high endobronchial pressures. In clinical xenon anaesthesia high ventilator pressures can be accepted.

Keywords: anaesthesia, inhalation, xenon, pulmonary pressure

Address for corresponding:
Prof. Uwe Schirmer, M.D., Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, University Clinic of Ulm, Steinhövelstr. 9, 89075 Ulm, Germany
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