Automated gas control with the Maquet FLOW-i

Rik Carette, Andre M. De Wolf, Jan F.A. Hendrickx*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The FLOW-i anesthesia machine (Maquet, Solna, Sweden) can be equipped with automated gas control (AGC), an automated low flow tool with target control of the inspired oxygen concentration (FIO2) and end-expired concentration (FA) of a potent inhaled anesthetic. We examined the performance and quantitative aspects of the AGC. After IRB approval and individual informed consent, anesthesia in 24 ASA I–II patients undergoing abdominal or gynecological surgery was maintained with sevoflurane in O2/air with a target FIO2 of 40 % and a target sevoflurane FA (FAsevo) of 2.0 %. The AGC tool also allows the user to select 1 out of 9 different speeds with which the target FAsevo can be reached (with 9 being the fastest speed). Eight patients each were randomly assigned to speed 2, 4, and 6 (= group 2, group 4, and group 6, respectively); these three speeds were chosen arbitrarily. AGC was activated immediately after securing the airway, which defined the start of the study, and the study ended 60 min later. The following parameters were compared among the three groups: age, height, weight, FIO2, FAsevo, BIS values, heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, fresh gas flow, and sevoflurane usage. Agent usage as reported by the FLOW-i was compared among the three groups. Patient demographics and maintenance FGF did not differ among groups. A very short-lived very high FGF (≈20 L min−1 for 8–12 s) ensured that the target FIO2 was attained within 1–2 min in all patients. FAsevo was 1.8 % after 15, 10, and 6 min, and 1.9 % after 30, 20 and 15 min in groups 2, 4, and 6, respectively. Blood pressure, heart rate, and BIS values did not differ among the three groups. BIS values remained acceptable in all patients, even with the slowest speed. Cumulative agent usage differed among all three groups between 2 and 30 min (lower with the lower speed), and between group 2 and 6 between 35 and 60 min. AGC combines an exponentially decreasing FGF pattern with a choice of ramp functions for the end-expired target concentration of the inhaled anesthetic. Consequently, both FGF and the choice of speed become factors that influence agent usage. After 15 min, a 300 mL min−1 maintenance FGF reduces agent usage to near closed-circuit conditions. This new addition to our automated low flow armamentarium helps to reduce anesthetic waste, cost, and pollution, while minimizing the ergonomic burden of low flow anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Anesthesia machine
  • Automated low flow
  • Closed loop
  • Equipment
  • Target control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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