Predictable nitrous oxide uptake enables simple oxygen uptake monitoring during low flow anaesthesia

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The uptake rate of oxygen and nitrous oxide were studied during low flow anaesthesia with enflurane or isoflurane in nitrous oxide with either spontaneous or controlled ventilation. The excess gas flow and composition were analysed. The nitrous oxide uptake rate was in agreement with Severinghaus’formula V˙N20 1000.t-0.5. The composition of excess gas was predictable and the following formula for oxygen uptake could be derived: V˙O2=V˙fgO2 -0.45 (V˙fgN2O -(kg: 70.1000.t-0.5)) where oxygen uptake rate (V˙O2, ml.min-1) equals oxygen fresh gas flow (V˙fgO2) minus 0.45 times the difference between the fresh gas flow of nitrous oxide (V˙fgN2O), ml.min-1 and estimated uptake of nitrous oxide. The equation assumes constant inspired gas concentrations of 30% oxygen and 65–70% nitrous oxide. The oxygen uptake rates calculated from this formula were in good agreement with measured uptake rates. Thus, continuous monitoring of oxygen uptake rates is possible by using only reliable flowmeters and analysis of inspried oxygen concentration.

Keywords: Anaesthetics, gases; nitrous oxide; Oxygen; uptake

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: J.P. Bengtson, MD, PhD, A. Bengtsson, MD, PhD, O. Stenqvist, MD, PhD, Associate Professors, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Sahlgren Hospital, University of Göteborg, S-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden.

Publication date: January 1, 1994

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