Regional cerebral metabolic rate (positron emission tomography) during inhalation of nitrous oxide 50% in humans

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recent studies in man have shown that cerebral blood flow increases during inhalation of nitrous oxide (N2O), a finding which is believed to be a result of an increased cerebral metabolic rate (CMR). However, this has not previously been evaluated in man. METHODS: Regional CMR(glu) (rCMR(glu)) was measured three dimensionally with positron emission tomography (PET) after injection of 2-(18F)fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose in 10 spontaneously breathing men (mean age 31 yr) inhaling either N2O 50% in O2 30% or O2 30% in N2. RESULTS: Global CMR(glu) in young men was 27 (3) micromol 100 g(-1) min(-1) [mean (SD)]. Inhalation of N2O 50% did not change global CMR(glu) [30 (5) micromol 100 g(-1) min(-1)] significantly, but it changed the distribution of the metabolism in the brain (P<0.0001 analysis of variance). Compared with inhalation of O2 30% in N2, N2O 50% inhalation increased the metabolism in the basal ganglia [14 (17)%, P<0.05] and thalamus [22 (23) %, P<0.05]. There was a prolonged metabolic effect of N2O inhalation seen on a succeeding PET scan with oxygen-enriched air (P<0.0001) performed 1 h after the N2O administration. CONCLUSIONS: Inhalation of N2O 50% did not change global CMR(glu), but the metabolism increased in central brain structures, an effect that was still present 1 h after discontinuation of N2O.

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  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-71
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume100
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes