The gaseous fluorocarbon trifluoromethane has recently been Investigated for Its potential as an in vivo gaseous indicator for nuclear magnetic resonance studies of brain perfusion. Trifluoromethane may also have significant value as a replacement for chlorofluorocarbon fire retardants. Because of possible species-specific cardiotoxic and anesthetic properties, the toxicological evaluation of trifluoromethane in primates (Papio anubis) is necessary prior to its evaluation in humans. We report the acute cardiac and central nervous system effects of trifluoromethane in eight anesthetized baboons. A dose-response effect was established for respiratory rate, electroencephalogram, and cardiac sinus rate, which exhibited a stepwise decrease from 10% trifluoromethane. No spontaneous arrhythmias were noted, and arterial blood pressure remained unchanged at any inspired level. Intravenous epinephrine infusions (1 µg/kg) induced transient cardiac arrhythmia in 1 animal only at 70% FC-23 (v/v) trifluoromethane. Trifluoromethane appears to induce mild dose-related physiological changes at inspired levels of 30% or more, indicative of an anesthetic effect. These data suggest that trifluoromethane may be safe to use in humans, without significant adverse acute effects, at an inspired level of 30%.
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