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Physiological Effects of Nitrous Oxide on Anaesthesia

2014-08-27 03:14:59 | BioPortfolio

Summary

Nitrous oxide is the oldest anaesthetic agent still in routine use today. Despite huge changes in the pharmacology of volatile anaesthetic agents and intravenous anaesthetics, the unique properties of nitrous oxide have maintained its place in modern practice, where it is used in combination with other, more powerful inhaled agents, such as sevoflurane. It has useful analgesic properties, unlike the other agents used today, and its inclusion reduces the concentration of other agents required to maintain an adequate depth of anaesthesia for surgery. In particular, its low solubility in body tissues gives it a unique pharmacokinetic profile, with rapid washin and washout from the body. It has been shown to have a similar effect on the speed of uptake of accompanying agents like sevoflurane (the "second gas effect"), which have much slower pharmacokinetics. A recent study by us suggested that this promotes faster and smoother onset of anaesthesia, as measured using the standard monitor of depth of anaesthesia (the BIS monitor). This finding requires confirmation prospectively in a larger group of patients. The investigators further hypothesise that a similar effect also exists on washout of sevoflurane at the end of the procedure, promoting quicker recovery (emergence) from anaesthesia. This has never been previously demonstrated. This information will help better define the place of nitrous oxide in achieving optimal outcomes in modern anaesthetic practice. The investigators propose to conduct a simple study to measure the effects of nitrous oxide washin and washout on exhaled concentrations of accompanying sevoflurane during both induction of anaesthesia and emergence, and identify any accompanying effect on the rate of change in depth of anaesthesia using BIS. Consenting adult participants will be recruited who are undergoing general anaesthesia for elective surgery anticipated to take a minimum of 1 hour and where an arterial line is considered appropriate for monitoring of blood pressure. As, in normal practice, the decision whether to include of nitrous oxide in the anaesthetic mixture is largely discretionary on the part of the anaesthetist, and therefore allocation to either arm of the protocol is consistent with routine practice, it is intended that the patients will be approached for consent on admission to hospital for their surgery. Standard patient monitoring will be used including BIS and a 2 mL sample of blood will be taken to assess blood gas content lung function and optimise lung ventilation.

Following induction of anaesthesia, participants will receive an inhaled gas mixture containing standard concentrations of sevoflurane. They will be randomised to a treatment group where a standard concentration of nitrous oxide is included in this mixture, or a control group where nitrous oxide is not included. Monitoring and recording of exhaled gas concentrations will be made by continuous sampling of gas from the breathing circuit and computer storage. The investigators hypothesise that the rate of fall of exhaled sevoflurane concentration at the end of anaesthesia will be more rapid in the group of patients breathing a gas mixture containing nitrous oxide, and that the rate of fall of BIS on induction and the rate of rise of BIS on emergence will be faster in the nitrous oxide group.

Description

Nitrous oxide is the oldest anaesthetic agent still in routine use today. Despite huge changes in the pharmacology of volatile anaesthetic agents and intravenous anaesthetics, the unique properties of nitrous oxide have maintained its place in modern practice, where it is used in combination with other, more powerful inhaled agents, such as sevoflurane. It has useful analgesic properties, unlike the other agents used today, and its inclusion reduces the concentration of other agents required to maintain an adequate depth of anaesthesia for surgery. In particular, its low solubility in body tissues gives it a unique pharmacokinetic profile, with rapid washin and washout from the body. It has been shown to have a similar effect on the speed of uptake of accompanying agents like sevoflurane (the "second gas effect"), which have much slower pharmacokinetics.

A recent study by us suggested that this promotes faster and smoother onset of anaesthesia, as measured using the standard monitor of depth of anaesthesia (the BIS monitor). This finding requires confirmation prospectively in a larger group of patients.

We further hypothesise that a similar effect also exists on washout of sevoflurane at the end of the procedure, promoting quicker recovery (emergence) from anaesthesia. This has never been previously demonstrated. This information will help better define the place of nitrous oxide in achieving optimal outcomes in modern anaesthetic practice.

We propose to conduct a simple study to measure the effects of nitrous oxide washin and washout on exhaled concentrations of accompanying sevoflurane during both induction of anaesthesia and emergence, and identify any accompanying effect on the rate of change in depth of anaesthesia using BIS.

Consenting adult participants will be recruited who are undergoing general anaesthesia for elective surgery anticipated to take a minimum of 1 hour and where an arterial line is considered appropriate for monitoring of blood pressure.

As, in normal practice, the decision whether to include of nitrous oxide in the anaesthetic mixture is largely discretionary on the part of the anaesthetist, and therefore allocation to either arm of the protocol is consistent with routine practice, it is intended that the patients will be approached for consent on admission to hospital for their surgery. Standard patient monitoring will be used including BIS and a 2 mL sample of blood will be taken to assess blood gas content lung function and optimise lung ventilation.

Following induction of anaesthesia, participants will receive an inhaled gas mixture containing standard concentrations of sevoflurane. They will be randomised to a treatment group where a standard concentration of nitrous oxide is included in this mixture, or a control group where nitrous oxide is not included. Monitoring and recording of exhaled gas concentrations will be made by continuous sampling of gas from the breathing circuit and computer storage. We hypothesise that the rate of fall of exhaled sevoflurane concentration at the end of anaesthesia will be more rapid in the group of patients breathing a gas mixture containing nitrous oxide, and that the rate of fall of BIS on induction and the rate of rise of BIS on emergence will be faster in the nitrous oxide group.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Conditions

Anaesthetics, Inhalation

Intervention

Nitrous Oxide

Location

Austin Health
Melbourne
Victoria
Australia
3084

Status

Recruiting

Source

Austin Health

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:59-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A neuropathy due to VITAMIN B 12 DEFICIENCY or to excessive NITROUS OXIDE inhalation. It is associated with overproduction of the myelinolytic TUMOR NECROSIS FACTOR-ALPHA.

Nitrogen oxide (N2O). A colorless, odorless gas that is used as an anesthetic and analgesic. High concentrations cause a narcotic effect and may replace oxygen, causing death by asphyxia. It is also used as a food aerosol in the preparation of whipping cream.

An inhalation anesthetic. Currently, methoxyflurane is rarely used for surgical, obstetric, or dental anesthesia. If so employed, it should be administered with NITROUS OXIDE to achieve a relatively light level of anesthesia, and a neuromuscular blocking agent given concurrently to obtain the desired degree of muscular relaxation. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p180)

A nonflammable, halogenated, hydrocarbon anesthetic that provides relatively rapid induction with little or no excitement. Analgesia may not be adequate. NITROUS OXIDE is often given concomitantly. Because halothane may not produce sufficient muscle relaxation, supplemental neuromuscular blocking agents may be required. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p178)

Nitrous acid (HNO2). A weak acid that exists only in solution. It can form water-soluble nitrites and stable esters. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)

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