Air-gas exchange reevaluated: clinically important results of a computer simulation.


PURPOSE The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of air-gas exchange techniques and the factors that influence the final concentration of an intraocular gas tamponade. Parameters were varied to find the optimum method of performing an air-gas exchange in ideal circumstances. METHODS A computer model of the eye was designed using 3D software with fluid flow analysis capabilities. Factors such as angular distance between ports, gas infusion gauge, exhaust vent gauge and depth were varied in the model. Flow rate and axial length were also modulated to simulate faster injections and more myopic eyes, respectively. The flush volume of gas required to achieve a 97% intraocular gas fraction concentration were compared. RESULTS Modulating individual factors did not reveal any clinically significant difference in the angular distance between ports, exhaust vent size, and depth or rate of gas injection. In combination, however, there was a 28% increase in air-gas exchange efficiency comparing the most efficient with the least efficient studied parameters in this model. The gas flush volume required to achieve a 97% gas fill also increased proportionately at a ratio of 5.5 to 6.2 times the volume of the eye. CONCLUSIONS A 35-mL flush is adequate for eyes up to 25 mm in axial length; however, eyes longer than this would require a much greater flush volume, and surgeons should consider using two separate 50-mL gas syringes to ensure optimal gas concentration for eyes greater than 25 mm in axial length.

DOI: 10.1167/iovs.11-8258

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@article{Shunmugam2011AirgasER, title={Air-gas exchange reevaluated: clinically important results of a computer simulation.}, author={M. S. Shunmugam and Sudhakaran Shunmugam and Tom Williamson and David Alistair Laidlaw}, journal={Investigative ophthalmology & visual science}, year={2011}, volume={52 11}, pages={8262-5} }