Background: The aim of the present study was to analyze the perfusion pressure dependency for the splanchnic vascular effects of desflurane (DES). Methods: We measured portal blood flow (Q(PORT), perivascular ultrasound) and jejunal mucosal perfusion (JMP; laser Doppler) in pentobarbital-anesthetized pigs (n=10). Experimentally, decreases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) were produced by pericardial infusions of dextran. The protocol included sets of measurements at incremental doses of DES (1, 2, 4 and 6%) prior to and during pericardial infusions. Results: Although Q(PORT) and JMP decreased significantly during pericardial infusions, DES, irrespective of dose, did not reduce Q(PORT) until MAP had decreased below 65-70 mm Hg. In higher MAP ranges, vasodilation in pre-portal tissues was powerful enough to maintain Q(PORT) in spite of concurrent decreases in driving arterial pressure, as produced by either DES or pericardial infusion, or by a combination of both. We found no effects of DES on JMP even at very low MAP (about 40 mm Hg during pericardial infusion), indicating that the normal physiological response of the small intestine to redistribute blood flow from deeper to more superficial layers during hypotension was unimpaired by DES. Conclusions: Our data suggest a wide dose-tolerability of DES as regards the splanchnic circulation during hypotensive states.
- Intestinal blood flow
- Laser Doppler flowmetry