We assumed that the capacity of the lungs to filter gas bubbles would vary as a function of anesthetic management. The effects of halothane (1% inspired concentration [group 1, n = 8]), fentanyl (100 μg/kg IV, followed by 1 μg.kg.-1min-1 [group 2, n = 7]), and ketamine (10 mg/kg IV, followed by 0.2 mg.kg-1.min-1 [group 3, n = 6]) on the passage of bolus injections of air across the pulmonary circulation were studied in dogs by using transesophageal echocardiography to detect air in the left atrium or the aorta, or both. The thresholds for bolus air detection during halothane, fentanyl, and ketamine administration were 0.05 mL/kg (range 0.01–0.1), 0.5 mL/kg (range 0.2–1.0), and 0.35 mL/kg (range 0.1–0.5), respectively. We conclude that the threshold during fentanyl- or ketamine-induced anesthesia was significantly higher than during halothane-induced anesthesia. Therefore, halothane interferes with the capacity of the lungs to filter air from the pulmonary circulation.
Address correspondence to Dr. Yahagi, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan.
© 1992 International Anesthesia Research Society