Author(s): Gin T, Chan MT
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) is decreased in pregnant animals, but this change has not been demonstrated in humans, probably because of ethical considerations. It is less problematic to determine MAC in pregnant women undergoing termination of pregnancy, however, and therefore we compared the MAC of isoflurane in these women with the MAC in matched nonpregnant women. METHODS: Patients underwent inhalational induction of anesthesia with isoflurane and tracheal intubation. MAC was determined in each patient by testing the response to a 10-s, 50-Hz, 80-mA transcutaneous tetanic electrical stimulus to the ulnar nerve at varying concentrations of isoflurane. The end-tidal concentration of isoflurane was kept constant for 10 min before each stimulus and the concentration of isoflurane ultimately varied in steps of 0.05\% until we obtained a sequence of three alternate responses (move, not move, move) or (not move, move, not move). MAC for each patient was taken as the mean of the two concentrations just permitting and just preventing movement. MAC for the group was taken as the median of the individual MAC values. A blood sample was taken immediately before induction of anesthesia for measurement of progesterone concentrations. Data were compared between groups by the Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS: The median (range) MAC for isoflurane in the pregnant group, 0.775\% (0.675-0.825), was less than that in the nonpregnant group, 1.075\% (1.025-1.175) (P < 0.001). The median (range) plasma progesterone concentration in the pregnant group, 63.4 (0.8-106) nM, was greater than that in the nonpregnant group, 8.4 (0.7-66) nM (P < 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The MAC of isoflurane was reduced by 28\% in pregnant women at 8-12 weeks' gestation compared with that of nonpregnant controls.
This article was published in Anesthesiology
and referenced in Dentistry