Real-Time Measurement of Xenon Concentration in a Binary Gas Mixture Using a Modified Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight Anesthesia Gas Flowmeter: A Technical Feasibility Study

David J. Williams, Gregory D. Hallewell, Ela Chakkarapani, John Dingley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Background:
Xenon (Xe) is an anesthetic gas licensed for use in some countries. Fractional concentrations (%) of gases in a Xe:oxygen (O2) mixture are typically measured using a thermal conductivity meter and fuel cell, respectively. Speed of sound in such a binary gas mixture is related to fractional concentration, temperature, pressure, and molar masses of the component gases. We therefore performed a study to assess the feasibility of developing a novel single sterilizable device that uses ultrasound time-of-flight to measure both real-time flowmetry and fractional gas concentration of Xe in O2.

Methods:
For the purposes of the feasibility study, we adapted an ultrasonic time-of-flight flowmeter from a conventional anesthetic machine to additionally measure real-time fractional concentration of Xe in O2. A total of 5095 readings of Xe % were taken in the range 5%-95%, and compared with simultaneous measurements from the gold standard of a commercially available thermal conductivity Xe analyzer.

Results:
Ultrasonic measurements of Xe (%) showed agreement with thermal conductivity meter measurements, but there was marked discontinuity in the middle of the measurement range. Bland-Altman analysis (95% confidence interval in parentheses) yielded: mean difference (bias) 3.1% (2.9%-3.2%); lower 95% limit of agreement -4.6% (-4.8% to -4.4%); and upper 95% limit of agreement 10.8% (10.5%-11.0%).

Conclusions:
The adapted ultrasonic flowmeter estimated Xe (%), but the level of accuracy is insufficient for clinical use. With further work, it may be possible to develop a device to perform both flowmetry and binary gas concentration measurement to a clinically acceptable degree of accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-990
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Volume129
Issue number4
Early online date3 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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