Sevoflurane depresses myocardial contractility less than halothane during induction of anesthesia in children.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular stability is an important prerequisite for any new volatile anesthetic. We compared echocardiographically derived indices of myocardial contractility during inhalation induction with sevoflurane and halothane in children.
METHODS: Twenty children were randomized to receive either halothane or sevoflurane for inhalation induction of anesthesia. No preoperative medications were given. Myocardial contractility was evaluated at baseline and at sevoflurane and halothane end-tidal concentrations of 1.0 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) and 1.5 MAC.
RESULTS: There were no differences between groups in patient age, sex, physical status, weight, or height. Equilibration times and MAC multiples of sevoflurane and halothane were comparable. Vital signs remained stable throughout the study. Left ventricular end-systolic meridional wall stress increased with halothane but remained unchanged with sevoflurane. Systemic vascular resistance decreased from baseline to 1 MAC and 1.5 MAC with sevoflurane. Halothane depressed contractility as assessed by the stress-velocity index and stress-shortening index, whereas contractility remained within normal limits with sevoflurane. Total minute stress and normalized total mechanical energy expenditure, measures of myocardial oxygen consumption, did not change with either agent.
CONCLUSIONS: Myocardial contractility was decreased less during inhalation induction of anesthesia with sevoflurane compared with halothane in children. Although the induction of anesthesia withsevoflurane or halothane was equally well tolerated, the preservation of myocardial contractility withsevoflurane makes it an attractive alternative for inducing anesthesia in children.