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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A second-generation blood substitute (perflubron emulsion) increases the blood solubility of modern volatile anesthetics in vitro.

Perfluorocarbon-based emulsions increase the blood solubility of isoflurane, enflurane, and halothane, with a maximal effect reported for the less soluble isoflurane. Current volatile anesthetics are less soluble and may be more affected by this phenomenon. Perflubron (Oxygent(TM)) is a perfluorocarbon-based emulsion in late-stage clinical testing in surgical patients for use as a temporary oxygen carrier. We tested the hypothesis that perflubron increases the solubility of isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane, as reflected by their blood/gas partition coefficient (lambda(Bl:g)). Fresh whole-blood samples were drawn from eight volunteers and mixed with perflubron to obtain concentrations of 1.2%, 1.8%, and 3.6% by volume (equivalent to in vivo doses of 1.8 to 5.4 g/kg, which represent up to twice the intended clinical dose range). By using the double-extraction method, we demonstrated increased lambda(Bl:g) for isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane. However, the solubility in blood does not really change, because volatile anesthetics are actually partitioning into perflubron. Increasing the amount of emulsion in the blood consequently increases the amount of gas carried, as reflected by the measured linear correlation between the lambda(Bl:g) values of all three volatile anesthetics and perflubron doses. Even though the increase ranges from 0.9 (desflurane) to 2.6 (sevoflurane) times the normal value, the apparent lack of clinical implications in current trials with perflubron may trigger further in vivo experiments. IMPLICATIONS:Perflubron increases the in vitro solubility of volatile anesthetics when present in the blood at clinically relevant concentrations. Volatile anesthetics actually partition into the emulsion, but the solubility in the blood does not change. Further studies are needed to assess whether perflubron will affect the pharmacokinetics of volatile anesthetics in vivo.[1]


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