SUMMARY: A survey of the literature on Vinethene published since 1936 is reported in an attempt to determine the progress made by laboratory and clinical investigators in the evaluation of this relatively new anesthetic agent. Many significant experimental findings have been made, some of which are of great practical importance.
From the laboratory investigations it might be inferred that Vinethene does not merit consideration as a substitute for ether or cyclopropane and that it should not be used to produce profound anesthesia or for operations requiring more than a few minutes to complete. The significance of the conflicting reports on the serious question of liver and kidney damage should be investigated more completely especially in man. With the knowledge already available, hepatic or renal insufficiency should be considered a contraindication to the use of Vinethene.
From the clinical point of view, it appears that while age, per se, is no contraindication to the administration of Vinethene, it is more commonly employed for children. Its use for minor surgery and especially in dental procedures has become increasingly popular. Technics have increased in number but the open drop method is still most popular. For surgery exceeding thirty to forty-five minutes, the carbon dioxide absorption technic with oxygen as a diluent is advised. Despite certain characteristic properties of Vinethene, complications may occur during all stages of anesthesia. By comparison with other volatile drugs these appear small in number. However, attention should be directed to the increasing emphasis given by clinical reports to the occurrence of convulsions and liver damage associated with Vinethene anesthesia.
The clinical reports indicate that the use of Vinethene is increasing, that it is being found useful for surgical procedures of short duration (less than twenty minutes) requiring little muscular relaxation and that it is most satisfactorily given by simple open technics. It may also be of value to complement less potent gases, such as nitrous oxide, for anesthesias of short duration or to induce ether anesthesia, although these have been less emphasized in published reports.
(C) 1941 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.