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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1997 Oct;41(9):1157-61.

Comparison of inhalation inductions with xenon and sevoflurane.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Teikyo University School of Medicine Ichihara Hospital, Chiba, Japan.



Xenon is an odorless gas with low blood-gas solubility coefficient and without occupational and environmental hazards. This investigation was performed to evaluate the speed of induction, and respiratory and cardiovascular reactions to inhalation induction with xenon compared to an equianesthetic concentration of sevoflurane.


Twenty-four adult ASA 1-2 patients premedicated with 0.05 mg/kg of midazolam were instructed to take vital capacity breaths of 1 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of either xenon or sevoflurane until they lost consciousness. Induction time, total ventilatory volume, tidal volume, respiratory rate, minute ventilation, end-tidal MAC fraction, cardiovascular parameters and oxygen saturation were recorded. The patients were interviewed on the following day to evaluate their acceptability rating of the inhalation inductions.


Compared to equianesthetic sevoflurane, xenon produced a faster induction of anesthesia (147 +/- 59 versus 71 +/- 21 s, respectively) with smaller decreases in respiratory rate, tidal volume and minute ventilation. Both agents showed comparable cardiovascular stability and oxygen saturation during induction. One patient in the sevoflurane group had breath-holding and movements of extremities and another had only breath-holding. No patients in the xenon group experienced any complications.


Xenon produced a faster induction of anesthesia without any complications than sevoflurane. Xenon had smaller decreases in tidal volume and respiratory rate during induction than sevoflurane. Xenon might offer an alternative to sevoflurane for an inhalation induction.

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