Tnhalational anesthetic agents have been sporadically used for status asthmaticus unresponsive to maximal standard therapy. Unfortunately, many agents have serious side effects and the delivery systems have been difficult to use outside the operating room, particularly in patients with high airway pressures.
Isoflurane, a halogenated ether, is an anesthetic agent that produces bronchodilation through a number of mechanisms. Recent technologic developments allow isoflurane to be easily and safely administered for prolonged periods of time to patients with severe bronchospasm.
We describe its use in two adults and two children who were refractory to conventional therapy. All responded favorably to isoflurane over 16 to 48 hours, and none experienced significant side effects.
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