Background: Sevoflurane degrades during low-flow anaesthesia to compound A, and high carbon dioxide absorbent temperatures cause increased degradation. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if larger tidal volumes, without increasing alveolar ventilation, decrease the temperature in the carbon dioxide absorber during low- and minimal-flow sevoflurane anaesthesia.
Methods: Prospective, randomized study, including 45 patients (ASA 1–2), scheduled for elective general or urology surgery. The patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatments. Patients in group 1 (NDS) received fresh gas flow of 1 litre/min without using additional dead-space volumes. In group 2 (DS + 1.0), the patients received fresh gas flow of 1 litre/min using additional dead-space volumes, placed between the Y-piece and the HME, and patients in group 3 (DS + 0.5) received the same technique with a fresh gas flow of 0.5 litre/min. The soda lime temperatures, dead-space volumes, end-tidal carbon dioxide, sevoflurane concentrations, ventilation volumes and pressures, absorbent weight and ear temperatures were measured.
Results: The maximum temperature of the soda lime was 44.1 ± 1.1° C in the NDS group, 37.8 ± 0.8° C in the DS + 1.0 group and 38.5 ± 2.7° C in the DS + 0.5 group (P<0.0001). The dead-space volume between the Y-piece the tracheal tube was 164 ± 69 ml in the DS + 1.0 group and 196 ± 15 ml in the DS + 0.5 group (P<0.05). The ventilator pressure were higher in the DS groups compared with the NDS group (P<0.001). Soda lime weight increased in all groups. End-tidal carbon dioxide, sevoflurane concentrations and ear temperatures were similar between the groups.
Conclusion: Increasing dead-space volumes can reduce carbon dioxide absorber temperature during low- and minimal-flow sevoflurane anaesthesia.