Inhalational anesthetics stereochemistry: optical resolution of halothane, enflurane, and isoflurane

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Science  01 Feb 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4993, pp. 560-561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1846702


Halothane (I), enflurane (II), and isoflurane (III), which are among the most important inhalation anesthetics, are currently administered as racemic mixtures. The pure enantiomers have not been described, and no analytical method for resolving the commercially available racemic mixtures has been reported. Complete optical resolution of (+/-)-I and (+/-)-III on per-n-pentylated alpha-cyclodextrin (Lipodex A) and of (+/-)-II and (+/-)-III on octakis(6-O-methyl-2,3-di-O-pentyl)-gamma-cyclodextrin capillary columns has been achieved, making rapid and convenient determination of enantiomeric ratios in samples of all three of these anesthetics possible.

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