Title: Desflurane
CAS Registry Number: 57041-67-5
CAS Name: 2-(Difluoromethoxy)-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane
Additional Names: (±)-2-difluoromethyl 1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl ether
Manufacturers' Codes: I-653
Trademarks: Suprane (Ohmeda)
Molecular Formula: C3H2F6O
Molecular Weight: 168.04
Percent Composition: C 21.44%, H 1.20%, F 67.84%, O 9.52%
Line Formula: CHF2OCHFCF3
Literature References: Prepd but not claimed: J. P. Russell et al., US 3897502 (1975 to Airco). Prepn and use as anesthetic: R. C. Terrell, US 4762856 (1988 to BOC). Series of articles on pharmacology and physical properties: E. I. Eger II et al., Anesth. Analg. 66, 971-985 (1987); and toxicity studies: eidem, ibid. 1227, 1230. Series of articles on clinical pharmacology and kinetics: Anesthesiology 74, 412-439; 479-498. Review: R. M. Jones, Br. J. Anaesth. 65, 527-536 (1990).
Properties: Volatile liquid. Slight non-pungent odor. Nonflammable, soda lime stable. bp 23.5°. d 1.44. Vapor pressure (20°): 88.53 kPa. Vapor pressure (22-23°): ~700mm. Partition coefficient at 37° (blood/gas): 0.424 ±0.024; (saline/gas): 0.225 ±0.002; (oil/gas): 18.7 ±1.1.
Boiling point: bp 23.5°
Log P: Partition coefficient at 37° (blood/gas): 0.424 ±0.024; (saline/gas): 0.225 ±0.002; (oil/gas): 18.7 ±1.1
Density: d 1.44
Therap-Cat: Anesthetic (inhalation).
Keywords: Anesthetic (Inhalation).
Desipramine Deslanoside Desloratadine Deslorelin Desmopressin

Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status  ?
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism Not metabolized
Half-life Elimination dependent on minute ventilation
CAS number 57041-67-5 YesY
ATC code N01AB07
PubChem CID 42113
DrugBank DB01189
ChemSpider 38403 YesY
KEGG D00546 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C3H2F6O 
Mol. mass 168.038 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Desflurane (1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl difluoromethyl ether) is a highly fluorinated methyl ethyl ether used for maintenance of general anesthesia. Like halothane, enflurane and isoflurane and Sevoflurane, it is a racemic mixture of (R) and (S) optical isomers (enantiomers). Together with sevoflurane, it is gradually replacing isoflurane for human use, except in the third world, where its high cost precludes its use. It has the most rapid onset and offset of the volatile anesthetic drugs used for general anesthesia due to its low solubility in blood.

Some drawbacks of desflurane are its low potency, its pungency and its high cost. It may cause tachycardia and airway irritability when administered at concentrations greater than 10 vol%. Due to this airway irritability, desflurane is infrequently used to induce anesthesia via inhalation techniques.

Though it vaporises very readily, it is a liquid at room temperature. Anaesthetic machines are fitted with a specialized anaesthetic vaporiser unit that heats liquid desflurane to a constant temperature. This enables the agent to be available at a constant vapor pressure, negating the effects fluctuating ambient temperatures would otherwise have on its concentration imparted into the fresh gas flow of the anesthesia machine.

Desflurane, along with enflurane and to a lesser extent isoflurane, has been shown to react with the carbon dioxide absorbent in anesthesia circuits to produce detectable levels of carbon monoxide through degradation of the anesthetic agent. The CO2 absorbent, Baralyme, when dried, is most culpable for the production of carbon monoxide from desflurane degradation, although it is also seen with soda lime absorbent as well. Dry conditions in the carbon dioxide absorbent are conducive to this phenomenon, such as those resulting from high fresh gas flows.[1]