Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations during desflurane and isoflurane closed-circuit anesthesia

J. F A Hendrickx, M. Soetens, M. De Vel, P. Van Der Aa, A. M. De Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Desflurane has been implicated in carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication during general anesthesia under certain circumstances. Carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) concentrations were determined in forty-one patients who were randomly allocated to receive closed-circuit anesthesia (CCA) with 1.3 MAC of desflurane (n = 21) or isoflurane (n = 20) in oxygen. Soda lime was used to bind the produced CO2 in previous anesthetic procedures with fresh gas flows of <2 l/min. In the desflurane group, COHb concentrations (mean ± SD) were 0.86 ± 1.15% and 0.81 ± 1.11% before and after 1 h of anesthesia, respectively. In the isoflurane group, COHb concentrations were 1.15 ± 1.47% and 1.19 ± 1.39% before and after 1 h of anesthesia, respectively. COHb concentrations did not increase after 2 h of CCA in seven patients. Our data suggest that closed-circuit anesthesia with desflurane or isoflurane does not produce clinically significant increases in COHb concentrations under conditions that allow the soda lime to remain sufficiently wet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalActa anaesthesiologica Belgica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996


  • anesthetic techniques: closed-circuit anesthesia
  • anesthetics, volatile: desflurane, isoflurane
  • carbon dioxide absorber: soda lime
  • complications: carbon monoxide, carboxyhemoglobin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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