Effects of four volatile anesthesics on postanesthetic ventilation: a comparison of halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane

Research paper by Yoshimi Inagaki, Chikara Tashiro, Yoshihiro Miwa, Ikuto Yoshiya

Indexed on: 01 Jun '96Published on: 01 Jun '96Published in: Journal of Anesthesia


To investigate the effects of four volatile anesthetics (halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane) on postanesthetic ventilation and levels of consciousness, we enrolled 24 patients undergoing tympanoplasty in this study. Anesthesia was maintained with 67% nitrous oxide and one of four volatile anesthetics. We measured end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration (CETco2), minute volume (\(\dot V_E \)) and respiratory rate (RR), and determined the volatile anesthetic concentration in whole arterial blood (CBAnesth) and arterial carbon dioxide tension (Paco2) at 20 min and 2h after tracheal extubation. We also observed the level of consciousness (awake, drowsy, and asleep) before the measurement. Ventilatory variables were similar among the four groups at 20 min, although the ratio of volatile anesthetic concentration in the alveoli to the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) (CAAnesth/MAC ratio) calculated from CBAnesth in the halothane group was twice those in the other groups. In the halothane group, Paco2 was significantly higher, and\(\dot V_E \) and RR were significantly lower compared with the isoflurane and sevoflurane groups at 2h. Halothane tended to prolong the recovery of levels of consciousness. We conclude that isoflurane and sevoflurane provide clinical advantages over halothane on postanesthetic ventilation and recovery of levels of consciousness.