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May 1961

Halothane Anesthesia in Intrathoracic Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, and Triboro Hospital, Queens Hospital Center, Jamaica, N.Y.

Arch Surg. 1961;82(5):777-782. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300110139019

The development of halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane, Fluothane) has added an agent to the anesthesiologists' armamentarium with pharmacologic properties unique among volatile anesthetics.1 High potency, rapid induction and recovery, ready controllability, and lack of stimulation of salivary and bronchial secretions, to gether with a low incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting, are obviously advantageous in the management of patients subjected to pulmonary and cardiovascular surgery. During early clinical evaluations halothane was employed as a primary agent in thoracic surgery.2,3 General acceptance of this drug in cardiopulmonary surgery, however, was tempered by the realization that marked depression of the cardiovascular system, as well as of the respiration, could occur. Further evaluation has shown that the circulatory depression is, by and large, a function of the concentration of halothane employed.4 Cardiovascular depression usually can be avoided, therefore, by judicious use of the agent in the lowest concentration compatible with light