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Cardiopulmonary effects of fentanyl in conscious dogs and dogs sedated with a continuous rate infusion of medetomidine

Kurt A. Grimm DVM, PhD1, William J. Tranquilli DVM, MS2, David R. Gross DVM, PhD3, David D. Sisson DVM, MS4, Barret J. Bulmer DVM, MS5, G. John Benson DVM, MS6, Stephen A. Greene DVM, MS7, and Tomas Martin-Jimenez DVM, PhD8
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.
  • | 8 Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the hemodynamic consequences of the coadministration of a continuous rate infusion (CRI) of medetomidine with a fentanyl bolus in dogs.

Animals—12 healthy sexually intact male dogs weighing 30.3 ± 4.2 kg (mean ± SD).

Procedure—Dogs received either fentanyl alone (15.0 µg/kg, IV bolus) or the same dose of fentanyl during an 11-hour CRI of medetomidine (1.5 µg/kg/h, IV). Prior to drug administration, dogs were instrumented for measurement of cardiac output, left atrial pressure, and systemic arterial blood pressures. Additionally, blood samples were collected from the pulmonary artery and left atrium for blood gas analysis.

Results—Medetomidine infusion reduced the cardiac index, heart rate, and O2 delivery while increasing left atrial pressure. Subsequent fentanyl administration further decreased the cardiac index. The PaO2 was not significantly different between the 2 treatment groups; however, fentanyl transiently decreased PaO2 from baseline values in dogs receiving a CRI of medetomidine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because of the prolonged hemodynamic changes associated with the CRI of medetomidine, its safety should be further evaluated before being clinically implemented in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1222–1226)