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Toxicology letters

Biomonitoring occupational sevoflurane exposure at low levels by urinary sevoflurane and hexafluoroisopropanol.


PMID 25455444

Abstract

This study aimed to correlate environmental sevoflurane levels with urinary concentrations of sevoflurane (Sev-U) or its metabolite hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) in order to assess and discuss the main issues relating to which biomarker of sevoflurane exposure is best, and possibly suggest the corresponding biological equivalent exposure limit values. Individual sevoflurane exposure was measured in 100 healthcare operators at five hospitals in north-east Italy using the passive air sampling device Radiello(®), and assaying Sev-U and HFIP concentrations in their urine collected at the end of the operating room session. All analyses were performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Environmental sevoflurane levels in the operating rooms were also monitored continuously using an infrared photoacoustic analyzer. Our results showed very low individual sevoflurane exposure levels, generally below 0.5 ppm (mean 0.116 ppm; range 0.007-0.940 ppm). Sev-U and HFIP concentrations were in the range of 0.1-17.28 μg/L and 5-550 μg/L, respectively. Both biomarkers showed a statistically significant correlation with the environmental exposure levels (Sev-U, r=0.49; HFIP, r=0.52), albeit showing fairly scattered values. Sev-U values seem to be influenced by peaks of exposure, especially at the end of the operating-room session, whereas HFIP levels by exposure on the previous day, the data being consistent with the biomarkers' very different half-lives (2.8 and 19 h, respectively). According to our results, both Sev-U and HFIP are appropriate biomarkers for assessing sevoflurane exposure at low levels, although with some differences in times/patterns of exposure. More work is needed to identify the best biomarker of sevoflurane exposure and the corresponding biological equivalent exposure limit values.

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