Modifications by halothane of responses to acute hypoxia in systemic vascular capacitance, resistance, and sympathetic nerve activity in dogs

H. Arimura, Z. J. Bosnjak, S. Hoka, J. P. Kampine

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5 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the effects of halothane on segmental vascular responses to hypoxia, we used cardiopulmonary bypass with venous outflow divided into three compartments (splanchnic, coronary, and 'other') in dogs anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium. The reservoir volume changes represented the inverted changes in systemic blood volume (SBV). In addition, sympathetic efferent nerve activity (SENA) was simultaneously recorded from the ventral ansa subclavian nerve. Experiments were done in two groups: severe hypoxia (PO2 of 19 mm Hg) and moderate hypoxia (PO2 of 50 mm Hg). Hypoxia provoked a significant decrease in SBV of 22.3 ± 3.1 mL/kg and 10.5 ± 1.6 mL/kg during severe and moderate hypoxia, respectively. Two percent end-tidal halothane attenuated the decrease in SBV to 10.3 ± 1.3 mL/kg during severe hypoxia, and 1% halothane attenuated the decrease to 3.7 ± 1.4 mL/kg during moderate hypoxia. Subsequent chemoreceptor denervation in the presence of 1% halothane completely abolished the moderate hypoxia-induced decrease in SBV. In the presence of halothane, vascular resistance during hypoxia was significantly less than that during control conditions. Sympathetic efferent nerve activity increased significantly during severe and moderate hypoxia by about 180% and 55%, respectively. During severe hypoxia, halothane did not cause any change in the response of SENA, whereas during moderate hypoxia, halothane tended to decrease SENA, but not significantly, and subsequent chemoreceptor denervation completely abolished the increase in SENA. Coronary resistance showed a hypoxia-induced reduction that was not influenced by halothane. These results suggest that acute hypoxia causes a decrease in SBV dependent on the severity of hypoxia. Halothane attenuates the responses to moderate hypoxia in both resistance and capacitance vessels but does not completely abolish the decrease in vascular capacitance. During severe hypoxia, halothane (1% and 2%) does not depress the hypoxia-induced increase in sympathetic discharge, and the suppression of the vascular response by halothane is probably due to its peripheral (vascular) actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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