Objective-To assess agreement between anesthetic agent concentrations measured by use of an infrared anesthetic gas monitor (IAGM) and refractometry. Sample-4 IAGMs of the same type and 1 refractometer. Procedures-Mixtures of oxygen and isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane, or N 2O were used. Agent volume percent was measured simultaneously with 4 IAGMs and a refractometer at the common gas outlet. Measurements obtained with each of the 4 IAGMs were compared with the corresponding refractometer measurements via the Bland-Altman method. Similarly, Bland-Altman plots were also created with either IAGM or refractometer measurements and desflurane vaporizer dial settings. Results-Bias ± 2 SD for comparisons of IAGM and refractometer measurements was as follows: Isoflurane, -0.03 ± 0.18 volume percent; sevoflurane, -0.19 ± 0.23 volume percent; desflurane, 0.43 ± 1.22 volume percent; and N 2O, -0.21 ± 1.88 volume percent. Bland- Altman plots comparing IAGM and refractometer measurements revealed nonlinear relationships for sevoflurane, desflurane, and N 2O. Desflurane measurements were notably affected; bias ± limits of agreement (2 SD) were small (0.1 ± 0.22 volume percent) at < 12 volume percent, but both bias and limits of agreement increased at higher concentrations. Because IAGM measurements did not but refractometer measurements did agree with the desflurane vaporizer dial settings, infrared measurement technology was a suspected cause of the nonlinear relationships. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Given that the assumption of linearity is a cornerstone of anesthetic monitor calibration, this assumption should be confirmed before anesthetic monitors are used in experiments.
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