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Lancet. 1990 Jun 16;335(8703):1413-5.

Safety and efficacy of xenon in routine use as an inhalational anaesthetic.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Dijkzigt, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


40 patients (24 male, 16 female, aged 21-59 years) of American Society of Anesthesiologists class I or II who were undergoing routine surgery took part in a randomised, double-blind comparison of the anaesthetic efficacy and potency of xenon and nitrous oxide and their effects on the circulatory and respiratory systems. During anaesthesia, for each rise in blood pressure of more than 20% of the preanaesthetic (baseline) value, the patient received 0.1 mg fentanyl. The total amount of fentanyl required per patient was used as an index of the anaesthetic potency of the study gases. Patients in the xenon group required on average only 0.05 mg fentanyl, whereas those in the nitrous oxide group required 0.24 mg fentanyl; the duration of anaesthesia was similar in the two groups. Changes in blood pressure were significantly greater throughout the study in the nitrous oxide than in the xenon group. Thorax-lung compliance fell during the study period in the nitrous oxide group but not in the xenon group. Thus, xenon is a potent and effective anaesthetic which can be safely used under routine conditions.

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