To the Editor:
I read with some dismay the article by Eger et al.  entitled "Molecular Properties of the `Ideal' Inhaled Anesthetic: Studies of Fluorinated Methanes, Ethanes, Propanes, and Butanes." I take no issue with the methods of the work, the data presented, or their conclusions. I am concerned, however, with an article that comes to the conclusion that a particular drug approximates the "ideal" anesthetic, when the senior author is a paid consultant to the manufacturer of this drug and, most importantly, this consulting relationship is not disclosed in the article. This is particularly bothersome when considering that recently this same issue arose with a publication by the same senior investigator . When this potential for conflict of interest was pointed out in two letters to the editor of the journal in which this work appeared [3,4], the investigators replied:
Abajian and Viscomi and Johnstone correctly take us to task for failing to state our paid consultant relationship to Ohmeda (Madison, WI), the manufacturer of desflurane. The potential bias that such a relationship entails should have been brought to the attention of the reader. Indeed, to do so is our normal practice, and the omission is an embarrassment .
It seems inevitable that this repeated "embarrassment" will reduce the credibility of their observations.
Jerry M. Gonzales, MD
Department of Anesthesia, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
1. Eger EI II, Lui J, Koblin DD, et al. Molecular properties of the "ideal" inhaled anesthetic: studies of fluorinated methanes, ethanes, propanes, and butanes. Anesth Analg 1994;79:245-51.
2. Weiskopf RB, Eger EI II. Comparing the cost of inhaled anesthetics. Anesthesiology 1993;79:1413-8.
3. Abajian JC, Viscomi CM. Cost of inhaled anesthetics: I [letter]. Anesthesiology 1994;80:1404.
4. Johnstone RE. Cost of inhaled anesthetics: II [letter]. Anesthesiology 1994;80:1404-5.
5. Weiskopf RB, Eger EI II. Cost of inhaled anesthetics: in reply. Anesthesiology 1994;80:1407-8.