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Br J Anaesth. 1996 Jun;76(6):854-9.

Recovery of respiratory ciliary function after depression by inhalation anaesthetic agents: an in vitro study using nasal turbinate explants.

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University Department of Anaesthesia, Leicester Royal Infirmary.


We have developed a human tissue preparation suitable for measurement of cilia beat frequency derived from nasal turbinates. Cilia beat frequency of turbinate explants from 11 patients did not change significantly over a 10-day observation period while maintained in an incubator, with mean cilia beat frequency of 13.1 (SEM 0.3) Hz to 14.4 (0.2) Hz (ANOVA for repeated measures, P = 0.168). We have used this preparation to investigate recovery of ciliary function after depression by inhalation anaesthetic agents. Eight or nine turbinate explants were exposed to three times the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of halothane, enflurane or isoflurane for a period of 1 h and thereafter to a period of air washout. After exposure to the inhalation agent there was a significant reduction in cilia beat frequency with all three agents: halothane 14.3 (0.4) Hz to 9.5 (0.3) Hz; enflurane 13.7 (0.6) Hz to 10.5 (0.5) Hz;isoflurane 15.9 (0.6) Hz to 10.6 (0.3) Hz. Cilia beat frequency returned to values after air washout that were not significantly different from baseline after 90 min of washout of halothane and 60 min of washout of enflurane and isoflurane (repeated measures ANOVA, unpaired t test; P = 0.01 at 60 min and P = 0.31 at 90 min washout for halothane; P = 0.83 at 60 min washout for enflurane; P = 0.26 at 60 min washout for isoflurane).

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