Desflurane is a nonflammable, colorless, very volatile liquid packaged in amber-colored vials. The boiling point is 22.8°C, and it requires a vaporizer specifically designed for desflurane. The manufacturer states that the vials can be stored at room temperature. Desflurane has a blood:gas partition coefficient of 0.42, an MAC of 7.3% and an oil:gas partition coefficient of 18.7. The low blood:gas partition coefficient leads to fast induction times and short recovery times. Desflurane is not recommended for induction anesthesia in children because of the high incidence of laryn-gospasms (50%), coughing (72%), breath holding (68%), and increase in secretions (21%).24 Desflurane can produce a dose-dependent decrease in blood pressure and concentrations exceeding 1 MAC may cause transient increases in heart rate. Desflurane can react with desiccated carbon dioxide absorbents to produce carbon monoxide that may result in elevated levels of carboxyhemoglobin.24
Desflurane is metabolized minimally with less than 0.02% of the administered dose recovered as urinary metabolites. Desflurane produces minimal free fluoride ion and very little trifluoroacetic acid and has not been reported to cause either kidney or liver damage.
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