Propofol Breath Monitoring as a Potential Tool to Improve the Prediction of Intraoperative Plasma Concentrations

Pieter Colin*, Douglas J Eleveld, Johannes P van den Berg, Hugo E M Vereecke, Michel M R F Struys, Gustav Schelling, Christian C Apfel, Cyrill Hornuss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Monitoring of drug concentrations in breathing gas is routinely being used to individualize drug dosing for the inhalation anesthetics. For intravenous anesthetics however, no decisive evidence in favor of breath concentration monitoring has been presented up until now. At the same time, questions remain with respect to the performance of currently used plasma pharmacokinetic models implemented in target-controlled infusion systems. In this study, we investigate whether breath monitoring of propofol could improve the predictive performance of currently applied, target-controlled infusion models.

Methods Based on data from a healthy volunteer study, we developed an addition to the current state-of-the-art pharmacokinetic model for propofol, to accommodate breath concentration measurements. The potential of using this pharmacokinetic (PK) model in a Bayesian forecasting setting was studied using a simulation study. Finally, by introducing bispectral index monitor (BIS) measurements and the accompanying BIS models into our PK model, we investigated the relationship between BIS and predicted breath concentrations.

Results and Discussion We show that the current state-of-the-art pharmacokinetic model is easily extended to reliably describe propofol kinetics in exhaled breath. Furthermore, we show that the predictive performance of the a priori model is improved by Bayesian adaptation based on the measured breath concentrations, thereby allowing further treatment individualization and a more stringent control on the targeted plasma concentrations during general anesthesia. Finally, we demonstrated concordance between currently advocated BIS models, relying on predicted effect-site concentrations, and our new approach in which BIS measurements are derived from predicted breath concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Pharmacokinetics
Issue number7
Early online date29-Dec-2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2016



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