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Background: Atelectasis is a common consequence of pre-oxygenation with 100% oxygen during induction of anaesthesia. Lowering the oxygen level during pre-oxygenation reduces atelectasis. Whether this effect is maintained during anaesthesia is unknown. Methods: During and after pre-oxygenation and induction of anaesthesia with 60%, 80% or 100% oxygen concentration, followed by anaesthesia with mechanical ventilation with 40% oxygen in nitrogen and positive end-expiratory pressure of 3 cmH2O, we used repeated computed tomography (CT) to investigate the early (0–14 min) vs. the later time course (14–45 min) of atelectasis formation. Results: In the early time course, atelectasis was studied awake, 4, 7 and 14 min after start of pre-oxygenation with 60%, 80% or 100% oxygen concentration. The differences in the area of atelectasis formation between awake and 7 min and between 7 and 14 min were significant, irrespective of oxygen concentration (P<0.05). During the late time course, studied after pre-oxygenation with 80% oxygen, the differences in the area of atelectasis formation between awake and 14 min, between 14 and 21 min, between 21 and 28 min and finally between 21 and 45 min were all significant (P<0.05). Conclusion: Formation of atelectasis after pre-oxygenation and induction of anaesthesia is oxygen and time dependent. The benefit of using 80% oxygen during induction of anaesthesia in order to reduce atelectasis diminished gradually with time.
Departments of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care 2:
Radiology, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden 3:
Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Physiology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden