Regional cerebral metabolic rate (positron emission tomography) during inhalation of nitrous oxide 50% in humans

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University Hospital, S22185 Lund, Sweden.
BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia (Impact Factor: 4.35). 01/2008; 100(1):66-71. DOI: 10.1093/bja/aem334
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies in man have shown that cerebral blood flow increases during inhalation of nitrous oxide (N2O), a finding which is believed to be a result of an increased cerebral metabolic rate (CMR). However, this has not previously been evaluated in man.
Regional CMR(glu) (rCMR(glu)) was measured three dimensionally with positron emission tomography (PET) after injection of 2-(18F)fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose in 10 spontaneously breathing men (mean age 31 yr) inhaling either N2O 50% in O2 30% or O2 30% in N2.
Global CMR(glu) in young men was 27 (3) micromol 100 g(-1) min(-1) [mean (SD)]. Inhalation of N2O 50% did not change global CMR(glu) [30 (5) micromol 100 g(-1) min(-1)] significantly, but it changed the distribution of the metabolism in the brain (P<0.0001 analysis of variance). Compared with inhalation of O2 30% in N2, N2O 50% inhalation increased the metabolism in the basal ganglia [14 (17)%, P<0.05] and thalamus [22 (23) %, P<0.05]. There was a prolonged metabolic effect of N2O inhalation seen on a succeeding PET scan with oxygen-enriched air (P<0.0001) performed 1 h after the N2O administration.
Inhalation of N2O 50% did not change global CMR(glu), but the metabolism increased in central brain structures, an effect that was still present 1 h after discontinuation of N2O.

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