Lecithin-coated microdroplets of methoxyflurane (MOF) are shown to produce local anesthesia of three- to six-day duration in the skin with a single intradermal injection in rats. Anesthesia was quantitated by elevation of the threshold (milliampere) for shock vocalization with intradermal electrodes. Intradermal injection of 0.1 ml 0.5% MOF gave moderate (2.1 mA) anesthesia of approximately three-day duration for a 10-12-mm diameter area, with no damage to the tissue. Higher concentrations gave six-day duration anesthesia at very high level (7 to 12 mA) anesthesia of three- to five-day duration with some damage to the tissue. At 4.4% MOF, ulcers formed in the center of the injection site with maximal dimensions of 1.3 mm (11-13% of the site diameter). Phenol, a widely used neurolytic agent, was tested as a control in the same concentration range. Phenol at 4.4% gave very high level (8 mA) anesthesia for longer than seven-day duration and caused formation of ulcers with maximal dimensions of 3.8 mm (31-38% of the site diameter). Analysis showed that MOF produced less damage than phenol for any given degree of anesthesia. Systemic toxicity and pharmacokinetic data are also presented. Phenol produced a hypothermic reaction and behavioral changes, whereas MOF was without systemic effect. The plasma concentrations of phenol were four to five times greater than those of MOF. These results suggest that MOF may have clinical advantages over phenol.
- anesthetic technique
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