Cardiovascular effects of sevoflurane compared with those of isoflurane in volunteers

T. P. Malan, J. A. DiNardo, R. J. Isner, E. J. Frink, M. Goldberg, P. E. Fenster, E. A. Brown, R. Depa, L. C. Hammond, H. Mata

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169 Scopus citations


Background: Sevoflurane is a new inhalational anesthetic with desirable clinical properties. In some clinical situations, a n understanding of the detailed cardiovascular properties of an anesthetic is important, so the authors evaluated the hemodynamic effects of sevoflurane in healthy volunteers not undergoing surgery. Methods: Twenty-one subjects were randomized to receive sevoflurane, isoflurane, or sevoflurane: 60% N2O. Anesthesia was induced and maintained by inhalation of the designated anesthetic. Hemodynamic measurements were performed before anesthesia, during controlled ventilation, during spontaneous ventilation, and again during controlled ventilation after 5.5 h of anesthesia. Results: A few subjects became excessively hypotensive at high anesthetic concentrations (2.0 minimum alveolar concentration [MAC] sevoflurane, 1.5 and 2.0 MAC isoflurane), preventing data collection. Sevoflurane did not alter heart rate, but decreased mean arterial pressure and mean pulmonary artery pressure. Cardiac index decreased at 1.0 and 1.5 MAC, but in subjects with mean arterial pressure ≥ 50 mmHg returned to baseline values at 2.0 MAC when systemic vascular resistance decreased. Sevoflurane did not alter echocardiographic indices of ventricular function, but did decrease an index of afterload. Sevoflurane caused a greater decrease in mean pulmonary artery pressure than did isoflurane, but the cardiovascular effects were otherwise similar. Administration of sevoflurane with 60% N2O, prolonged administration or spontaneous ventilation resulted in diminished cardiovascular depression. Conclusions: At 1.0 and 1.5 MAC, sevoflurane was well tolerated by healthy volunteers. At 2.0 MAC, in subjects with mean arterial pressure ≥ 50 mmHg, no adverse cardiovascular properties were noted. Similar to other contemporary anesthetics, sevoflurane caused evidence of myocardial depression. Hemodynamic instability was noted in some subjects at high anesthetic concentrations in the absence of surgical stimulation. The incidence was similar to that with isoflurane. The cardiovascular effects of sevoflurane were similar to those of isoflurane, an anesthetic commonly used in clinical practice since 1981.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)918-928
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995


  • Anesthetics, gases: nitrous oxide
  • Anesthetics, volatile: isoflurane; sevoflurane
  • Blood pressure: drug effects
  • Heart: echocardiography; myocardial function; vascular pressures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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