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September 1985

Effect of Nitrous Oxide on Gas Bubble Volume

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(9):1272. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050090022007

To the Editor.  —The article by Wolf et al in the March 1985 Archives makes us aware of the danger of N2O anesthesia in the presence of intraocular gas. Although we agree that N2O anesthesia is potentially dangerous, we have found that it can be tolerated when used with adequate caution.The suggestion that in Abrams' cases N2O anesthesia contributed to the loss of light perception on the first postoperative day can only imply the unlikely possibility that occlusion of the artery occurred during surgery and was not recognized until the next day. Nitrous oxide anesthesia does not contribute to postoperative bubble expansion. Although N2O enters the eye so rapidly that the volume of gas in a cat eye was shown to double in 30 minutes, its movement out of the eye is even more rapid when ventilation is used at the