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Effect of medetomidine on respiration and minimum alveolar concentration in halothane- and isoflurane-anesthetized dogs

Lerche, P., Muir, W.W. III
American journal of veterinary research 2006 v.67 no.5 pp. 782-789
dogs, isoflurane, anesthesia, medetomidine, drug interactions, halothane, dosage, breathing, males, females, intravenous injection, carbon dioxide
Objective-To evaluate the effect of medetomidine on minimum alveolar concentration (MAC), respiratory rate, tidal volume, minute volume (V(M)), and maximum inspiratory occlusion pressure (IOCP(max)) in halothane- and isoflurane-anesthetized dogs. Animals-6 healthy adult dogs (3 males and 3 females). Procedure-The MAC of both inhalants was determined before and 5, 30, and 60 minutes after administration of medetomidine (5 microgram/kg, IV). Dogs were subsequently anesthetized by administration of halothane or isoflurane and administered saline (0.9% NaCl) solution IV or medetomidine (5 microgram/kg, IV). Respiratory variables and IOCP(max) were measured at specific MAC values 15 minutes before and 5, 30, and 60 minutes after IV administration of medetomidine while dogs breathed 0% and 10% fractional inspired carbon dioxide (FICO2). Slopes of the lines for V(M)/FICO2 and IOCP(max)/FICO2 were then calculated. Results-Administration of medetomidine decreased MAC of both inhalants. Slope of V(M)/FICO2 increased in dogs anesthetized with halothane after administration of medetomidine, compared with corresponding values in dogs anesthetized with isoflurane. Administration of medetomidine with a simultaneous decrease in inhalant concentration significantly increased the slope for V(M)/FICO2, compared with values after administration of saline solution in dogs anesthetized with halothane but not isoflurane. Values for IOCP(max) did not differ significantly between groups. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Equipotent doses of halothane and isoflurane have differing effects on respiration that are most likely attributable to differences in drug effects on central respiratory centers. Relatively low doses of medetomidine decrease the MAC of halothane and isoflurane in dogs.