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Br J Anaesth. 1997 Nov;79(5):595-9.

Emergence times from xenon anaesthesia are independent of the duration of anaesthesia.

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


Xenon (MAC = 71%) has an extremely low blood:gas partition coefficient (0.14). Therefore, we predicted that the rate of emergence from xenon anaesthesia would not be affected greatly by duration of anaesthesia. We studied 54 ASA I-II patients undergoing lower abdominal surgery who received equal MAC anaesthesia with 60% xenon, 60% nitrous oxide with 0.5% isoflurane or 60% nitrous oxide with 0.7% sevoflurane (n = 18 per group), each supplemented with extradural mepivacaine anaesthesia. Duration of anaesthesia was 58-380 min. At the end of operation, all inhalation anaesthetics were discontinued and patients were allowed to wake up while breathing oxygen spontaneously. A blinded investigator recorded the time until patients opened their eyes on command (T1), were judged ready for tracheal extubation (T2), could correctly state their name, date of birth and name of the hospital (T3), and could count backwards from 10 to 1 in less than 15 s (T4). Emergence times after xenon and nitrous oxide-sevoflurane anaesthesia did not correlate with duration of anaesthesia, whereas those from nitrous oxide-isoflurane had positive correlations. Mean emergence times from xenon anaesthesia were: T1, 3.3 (SD 1.0) min; T2, 3.6 (1.0) min; T3, 5.0 (1.1) min; and T4, 6.2 (1.7) min. These values were approximately 50% of those after nitrous oxide-sevoflurane anaesthesia (T1, 5.6 (1.4) min; T4, 10.5 (2.0) min). We conclude that xenon provided fast emergence from anaesthesia, regardless of the duration of anaesthesia.

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