The authors hypothesized that relaxation of airway smooth muscle by halothane lessens the dependence of airway resistance on lung volume, and that halothane alters the relationship between pulmonary resistance and lung volume by changing both the airway and tissue components of pulmonary resistance. The relationship among airway resistance, tissue resistance, and lung volume was examined in mongrel dogs before and during the administration of halothane, both in airways with reduced smooth muscle tone (after vagotomy) and during moderate increases in smooth muscle tone caused by vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Resistances were measured at several levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP, 4-15 cmH2O) using an alveolar capsule technique. Before halothane administration, airway resistance increased at low PEEP; VNS accentuated this increase. Tissue resistance increased at low PEEP only during VNS. Halothane had no significant effect on any resistance before VNS. During VNS, halothane markedly blunted increases in airway resistance and tissue resistance as PEEP decreased. The authors conclude that during stimulation of airway smooth muscle in dogs, halothane attenuates increases in airway resistance and tissue resistance with reductions in lung volume in dogs. Thus, moderate changes in lung volume have little effect on these resistances during halothane anesthesia under these conditions.
- Anesthetics, volatile: halothane
- Lungs: airway resistance; alveolar capsules; pulmonary resistance; tissue resistance
- Nerve: vagus; stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine