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Type: Journal article
Title: Cerebral and lung kinetics of morphine in conscious sheep after short intravenous infusions
Author: Upton, R.
Ludbrook, G.
Martinez, A.
Grant, C.
Milne, R.
Citation: British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2003; 90(6):750-758
Publisher: Prof Sci Publ
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 0007-0912
Statement of
R. N. Upton, G. L. Ludbrook, A. M. Martinez, C. Grant and R. W. Milne
Abstract: Background. The analgesic effects of morphine are delayed relative to its concentration in blood. The rate of equilibration of morphine between blood and brain may contribute to this delay, but the kinetics of this process have not been modelled. This was determined in conscious instrumented sheep. The lung kinetics of morphine were also determined given their importance in defining systemic kinetics after i.v. bolus administration. Methods. Sheep were given short i.v. infusions of morphine (30 mg over 4 min). Cerebral kinetics were inferred from arterio–sagittal sinus concentration gradients and cerebral blood flow, and lung kinetics from the pulmonary artery–aortic gradient and cardiac output. These data were fitted to flow- and membrane-limited models of the kinetics in each organ. Results. Morphine had minimal cardiovascular effects, did not alter cerebral blood flow and caused insignificant respiratory depression. Lung kinetics were best described by a single distribution volume (2036 ml) with a first-order loss (1370 ml min–1), which was attributed to deep distribution. The cerebral kinetics of morphine were characterized by a significant permeability barrier. Permeability across the barrier (7.44 ml min–1) was estimated with good precision, and was approximately one-fifth of the nominal cerebral blood flow. The distribution volume of morphine in the brain was estimated with less precision, but was described by a brain:blood partition coefficient of approximately 1.4. The time required for 50% equilibration between brain and blood concentrations was approximately 10.3 min. Conclusion. The cerebral equilibration of morphine was relatively slow, and was characterized by significant membrane limitation.
Keywords: Lung; Brain; Animals; Sheep; Morphine; Analgesics, Opioid; Cardiac Output; Infusions, Intravenous; Cerebrovascular Circulation; Female
Description: © 2003 The Board of Management and Trustees of the British Journal of Anaesthesia
RMID: 0020030165
DOI: 10.1093/bja/aeg131
Appears in Collections:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care publications

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