Pharmacokinetics of isoflurane: Uptake in the brain

Chih Cherng Lu, Shung Tai Ho, Jhi Joung Wang, Chih Shung Wong, Oliver Yao Pu Hu, Sun Yran Chang, Chung Yuan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the effect of the inspired isoflurane concentration (C Iiso) on the pharmacokinetics of isoflurane uptake in the brain by comparing the isoflurane concentration in internal jugular-bulb blood (Jiso) with that in arterial blood (Aiso), and analyzed this by gas chromatography. Sixteen patients (aged 43-76 years) undergoing colorectal surgery were enrolled, and anesthesia was maintained with a constant CIiso of either 1% (group 1, n = 8) or 2% (group 2, n = 8) during the 1st hour of isoflurane anesthesia. Under constant volume-controlled ventilation, we measured the C Iiso and the end-tidal isoflurane concentration (CEiso) at the mouthpiece by infrared analysis. Our results demonstrate that it takes 40 min for the brain tissue concentration to equal Aiso for 1% CIiso, and 50 min for 2% CIiso. The Aiso (and/or Jiso) for 2% C Iiso was approximately double when compared to that for 1% C Iiso. Except during the initial wash-in period of the functional residual capacity in the first 3 min, the differences between CIiso and CEiso revealed that the body uptake of isoflurane for 2% C Iiso was twice that for 1% CIiso. These results demonstrate that the pharmacokinetics of isoflurane uptake in the brain is time-dependent for Jiso to equal Aiso, and the midpoint between Aiso and Jiso (likely representing the isoflurane concentration in brain tissue) was dependent on CIiso.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 4 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthetic
  • Brain uptake
  • Isoflurane
  • Pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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