Long-duration low-flow sevoflurane and isoflurane effects on postoperative renal and hepatic function

Evan D. Kharasch, Edward J. Frink, Alan Artru, Piotr Michalowski, G. Alec Rooke, Wallace Nogami

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94 Scopus citations


Sevoflurane degradation by carbon dioxide absorbents during low-flow anesthesia forms the haloalkene Compound A, which causes nephrotoxicity in rats. Numerous studies have shown no effects of Compound A formation on postoperative renal function after moderate-duration (3-4 h) low-flow sevoflurane; however, effects of longer exposures remain unresolved. We compared renal function after long-duration low-flow (<1 L/min) sevoflurane and isoflurane anesthesia in consenting surgical patients with normal renal function. To maximize degradant exposure, Baralyme® was used, and anesthetic concentrations were maximized (no nitrous oxide and minimal opioids). Inspired and expired Compound A concentrations were quantified. Blood and urine were obtained for laboratory evaluation. Sevoflurane (n = 28) and isoflurane (n = 27) groups were similar with respect to age, sex, weight, ASA status, and anesthetic duration (9.1 ± 3.0 and 8.2 ± 3.0 h, mean ± SD) and exposure (9.2 ± 3.6 and 9.1 ± 3.7 minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration hours). Maximum inspired Compound A was 25 ± 9 ppm(range, 6-49 ppm), and exposure (area under the concentration-time curve) was 165 ± 95 (35-428) ppm·h. There was no significant difference between anesthetic groups in 24- or 72-h serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine clearance, or 0- to 24-h or 48- to 72-h urinary protein or glucose excretion. Proteinuria and glucosuria were common in both groups. There was no correlation between Compound A exposure and any renal function measure. There was no difference between anesthetic groups in 24- or 72-h aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase. These results show that the renal and hepatic effects of long-duration low-flow sevoflurane and isoflurane were similar. No evidence for low-flow sevoflurane nephrotoxicity was observed, even at high Compound A exposures as long as 17 h. Proteinuria and glucosuria were common and nonspecific postoperative findings. Long-duration low-flow sevoflurane seems as safe as long-duration low-flow isoflurane anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1520
Number of pages10
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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