There are only limited data on sevoflurane minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) in rats. This study was designed to determine the minimum alveolar concentration value for sevoflurane in younger and older rats. Minimum alveolar concentration determination was performed in spontaneously breathing animals, 9-week-old rats (younger, n = 8) and more than 13-month-old rats (older, n = 8). Rats were instrumented with a silastic catheter in the abdominal aorta via the femoral artery to allow for arterial blood gas sampling. Subsequently, minimum alveolar concentration for sevoflurane was determined in 40 younger and 38 older rats. Minimum alveolar concentration for sevoflurane in younger rats was significantly higher than in the older rats (2.68 ± 0.19 vs. 2.29 ± 0.19, P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis indicated that minimum alveolar concentration for sevoflurane was not affected by the presence of an arterial catheter in the abdominal aorta (younger, 2.75 ± 0.08 vs. 2.67 ± 0.21; older, 2.23 ± 0.19 vs. 2.30 ± 0.18). Minimum alveolar concentration is profoundly affected by the age of the animal, but not by limited instrumentation.
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