Sevoflurane and desflurane protect cholinergic-induced bronchoconstriction of hyperreactive airways in rabbits

Carole F. Myers, Fabienne Fontao, Tibor Z. Jánosi, Krisztina Boda, Ferenc Peták, Walid Habre

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Purpose The potential of desflurane to alter respiratory mechanics in the presence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is still a subject of debate. Accordingly, we evaluated the bronchoprotective potential of desflurane compared with sevoflurane following cholinergic lung constriction in rabbits with normal and hyperreactive airways. Methods The input impedance of the respiratory system (Zrs) was measured during midazolam-based anesthesia before and during intravenous infusions of increasing doses of methacholine (MCh). The rabbits in the control group (Group C) were then randomized to receive either sevoflurane 1 MAC followed by desflurane 1 MAC or vice versa, whereas ovalbumin-sensitized rabbits received sevoflurane followed by desflurane (Group S-SD) or vice versa (Group S-DS). Baseline Zrs measurements and the MCh provocations were repeated under the maintenance of each volatile agent. Airway resistance (Raw), tissue damping (G), and elastance data were obtained from Zrs by model fitting. Results Similar bronchoprotective effects of sevoflurane and desflurane against MCh-induced bronchoconstriction were observed independently of the severity of the bronchospasm and the presence of BHR. With sevoflurane, the decreases in Raw ranged from 22 (8.8)% to 44 (12)%, and with desflurane, they ranged from 22 (8.7)% to 50 (12)%. The increases in G reflecting the enhanced ventilation heterogeneities in the lung periphery were not affected by the volatile agents. Conclusions If the contractile stimulus is cholinergic in origin, sevoflurane and desflurane exert similar bronchoprotective potentials to act against lung constriction independent of the presence of BHR. These volatile anesthetics otherwise lack a potential to improve the enhanced ventilation heterogeneities that develop particularly in the presence of BHR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1015
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Anesthesia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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