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Anesthesiology. 1990 Oct;73(4):731-8. doi: 10.1097/00000542-199010000-00020.

Volatile anesthetic effects on left ventricular relaxation in swine.


L S Humphrey, D C Stinson, M J Humphrey, R S Finney, P A Zeller, M R Judd, T J Blanck


  1. Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.

PMID: 2221442 DOI: 10.1097/00000542-199010000-00020
Free Article


The effects of halothane (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5%; n = 10), enflurane (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0%; n = 8), and isoflurane (0.75, 1.5, and 2.25%; n = 8) on isovolumic relaxation were studied in open-chest swine. The time constant for isovolumic left ventricular pressure decline, T, was determined at each anesthetic concentration at the intrinsic heart rate and during atrial pacing to 150 beats per min. The effect of increased left ventricular afterload on T was investigated by partial occlusion of the thoracic aorta to raise the left ventricular systolic pressure to baseline in the presence of volatile anesthetics, and 20% above baseline in the absence of volatile anesthetics. Heart rate and left ventricular systolic pressure decreased substantially with all three anesthetics, whereas left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased (by 3-4 mmHg). Relaxation time constants increased with all three anesthetics at the intrinsic heart rate; when the heart rate was controlled by pacing, T increased in the halothane and enflurane, but not in the isoflurane, experiments. T was significantly prolonged (by 30-100%) by partial aortic occlusion in the presence of anesthetic, but not in the control measurements. T did not change significantly in the isoflurane experiments when atrial pacing was employed with partial aortic occlusion. The volatile anesthetics, particularly halothane, seem to impair the relaxation process of the left ventricle; further investigation of the mechanisms of this interference, such as anesthetic effects on intracellular calcium movement and total left ventricular load, is warranted.

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