The effects of mild hypocapnia (Paco2 22 mm Hg) and hypercapnia (Paco2 59 mm Hg) on the splanchnic circulation and hepatic function were studied in six pentobarbital anesthetized, laparotomized, mechanically ventilated beagles. Tidal volume and respiratory frequency were held constant throughout the measurements. Hepatic artery blood flow (HABF) and portal vein blood flow (PVBF) were measured by electromagnetic flowmeters. Hepatic function was assessed by indocyanine green (ICG) elimination kinetic analysis after intravenous injection of the dye. Hypocapnia caused a decrease in HABF without affecting the systemic circulation. Hypercapnia, on the other hand, caused a significant increase in cardiac output without changing mean arterial pressure. There was a significant increase in PVBF and total hepatic blood flow (THBF = PVBF + HABF). Despite the increases in PVBF and THBF, the half-life of ICG was significantly longer during hypercapnia (9.09 ± 0.79 min) than during hypocapnia (7.16 ± 0.37 min), and plasma ICG clearance was smaller during hypercapnia (4.79 ± 0.44 ml·min−1) than during hypocapnia (5.44 ± 0.33 ml·min−1) or normocapnia (5.27 ± 0.50 ml·min−1), indicating the depressed hepatic function during hypercapnia. We conclude that mild hypocapnia decreases HABF without affecting hepatic function and that mild hypercapnia is associated with a depression of hepatic function in spite of the increases in PVBF and THBF.
Address correspondence to Dr. Fujita, Department of Anesthesiology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Kurashiki, Okayama 701–01 Japan.
© 1989 International Anesthesia Research Society