Cardiovascular effects of venous air embolism during air and oxygen breathing

Eugene Steffey, G. E. Gauger, E. I. Eger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To determine if denitrogenation mitigates the cardiovascular effects of venous air emboli, air was infused intravenously in halothane anesthetized dogs breathing oxygen (O 2) or 75 to 79% nitrogen (N 2) (O 2 supplemented air). During a constant infusion rate of 3.5 or 7 ml./min. in 6 dogs, the volume of air required to produce a 40% decrease in mean arterial pressure (MAP) with O 2 breathing was double the volume required during air breathing. In 4 additional dogs, 3 ml./kg of air injected over 4 to 5 min. decreased MAP 35 to 40%, but breathing air or O 2 produced no difference in the spontaneous rate of return of MAP to 90% of control. The results indicate that when air slowly enters the venous circulation, larger volumes are necessary to produce cardiovascular depression in animals breathing O 2. However, there is no significant difference in the rate of cardiovascular recovery during air versus O 2 breathing once depression occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-604
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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