The effect of obesity on the disposition kinetics of thiopental was studied in seven morbidly obese (age 25 to 46 years) and eight age-matched lean patients (age 25 to 43 years), undergoing primarily abdominal surgery. Based upon total (bound + free) thiopental concentrations, the average (+/-SD) volumes of distribution in the terminal disposition phase and at steady-state (V beta and V ss) were significantly larger in the obese (7.94 +/- 4.55 1/kg and 4.72 +/- 2.73 1/kg, respectively) than in the age-matched lean patients (1.95 +/- 0.63 1/kg and 1.40 +/- 0.46 1/kg, respectively). Clearance of total thiopental, normalized for total body weight was not significantly different between the obese (0.18 +/- 0.081 . h-1 . kg-1) and lean patients (0.21 +/- 0.06 1 . h-1 . kg-1). However, total body clearance not normalized for total body weight was significantly larger in the obese (24.98+/- 14.87 1/h) than in the lean patients (11.86 +/- 3.66 1/h). The elimination half-life of thiopental was significantly longer in the obese (27.85 h) than in the lean patients (6.33 h) and this difference was primarily a function of a larger apparent volume of distribution for thiopental. The unbound fraction of thiopental in serum (range, 17.8 per cent to 27.6 per cent) was not correlated with the degree of obesity. The most appropriate means of comparing intrinsic metabolizing capacity (i.e., normalized vs. non-normalized for weight) between lean and obese subjects remains unresolved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine