The actions of desflurane, isoflurane and halothane on regional tissue perfusion were studied using radioactive microspheres in dogs chronically instrumented for measurement of arterial and left ventricular pressure, global (left ventricular dP/dtmax) and regional (percent segment shortening) contractile function, and diastolic coronary blood flow velocity. Systemic and coronary haemodynamics and regional tissue perfusion were measured in the conscious state and during anaesthesia with equihypotensive concentrations of desflurane, isoflurane, and halothane. All three volatile anaesthetics (P < 0.05) increased heart rate and decreased mean arterial pressure, left ventricular systolic pressure, and left ventricular dP/dtmax Myocardial perfusion was unchanged in subendocardial midmyocardial, and subepicardial regions by the administration of either dose of desflurane. No redistribution of intramyocardial blood flow (endo/epi ratio) was observed during desflurane anaesthesia. Although regional myocardial perfusion was reduced (P < 0.05) in a dose-related fashion by halothane and by isoflurane at high concentrations, redistribution of intramyocardial blood flow was not observed during halothane or isoflurane anaesthesia. All three volatile anaesthetics reduced blood flow to the renal cortex, but only desflurane produced a decrease in renal cortical vascular resistance. Hepatic blood flow decreased in response to halothane but not desflurane or isoflurane. Concomitant decreases in hepatic resistance were observed during administration of desflurane and isoflurane. Dose-related decreases in intestinal and skeletal muscle blood flow were observed during halothane and isoflurane but not desflurane anaesthesia. The results suggest that desflurane maintains myocardial, hepatic, intestinal, and skeletal muscle blood flow while halothane and isoflurane decrease regional tissue perfusion in these vascular beds to varying degrees during systemic hypotension in the chronically instrumented dog.
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