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October 26, 1984


JAMA. 1984;252(16):2267-2269. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160135040

Only a few of the recent developments in anesthesiology are described in this brief review, which does not purport to be exhaustive. The anesthesiologists' armamentarium has been enlarged by the introduction of a new inhalation agent and a new muscle-relaxant drug, but it may be reduced by suggestions from some investigators that one of the oldest inhalation agents in use should be abandoned. In other developments, a renewed interest in the relief of pain has been noted with the reassessment and application of new techniques for controlling pain in the postoperative period and with the study of pain receptors in the CNS.

Isoflurane is the latest inhalation anesthetic to be introduced into clinical practice,1 and it joins two other halogenated compounds, halothane and enflurane, in the drugs available to the clinical anesthesiologist. Isoflurane, prior to its release, had had extensive investigational and clinical trials for nearly ten years. It