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  • Author or Editor: Alejandro Esteller Vico x
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Objective—To test the hypothesis that head-down positioning in anesthetized horses increases intracranial pressure (ICP) and decreases cerebral and spinal cord blood flows.

Animals—6 adult horses.

Procedures—For each horse, anesthesia was induced with ketamine hydrochloride and xylazine hydrochloride and maintained with 1.57% isoflurane in oxygen. Once in right lateral recumbency, horses were ventilated to maintain normocapnia. An ICP transducer was placed in the subarachnoid space, and catheters were placed in the left cardiac ventricle and in multiple vessels. Blood flow measurements were made by use of a fluorescent microsphere technique while each horse was in horizontal and head-down positions. Inferential statistical analyses were performed via repeated-measures ANOVA and Dunn-Sidak comparisons.

Results—Because 1 horse developed extreme hypotension, data from 5 horses were analyzed. During head-down positioning, mean ± SEM ICP increased to 55 ± 2 mm Hg, compared with 31 ± 2 mm Hg during horizontal positioning; cerebral perfusion pressure was unchanged. Compared with findings during horizontal positioning, blood flow to the cerebrum, cerebellum, and cranial portion of the brainstem decreased significantly by approximately 20% during head-down positioning; blood flows within the pons and medulla were mildly but not significantly decreased. Spinal cord blood flow was low (9 mL/min/100 g of tissue) and unaffected by position.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Head-down positioning increased heart-brain hydrostatic gradients in isoflurane-anesthetized horses, thereby decreasing cerebral blood flow and, to a greater extent, increasing ICP. During anesthesia, CNS regions with low blood flows in horses may be predisposed to ischemic injury induced by high ICP.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To test a hypothesis predicting that isoflurane would interfere with cerebrovascular autoregulation in horses and to evaluate whether increased mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) would increase cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure (ICP) during isoflurane anesthesia.

Animals—6 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Horses were anesthetized with isoflurane at a constant end-tidal concentration sufficient to maintain MAP at 60 mm Hg. The facial, carotid, and dorsal metatarsal arteries were catheterized for blood sample collection and pressure measurements. A sub-arachnoid transducer was used to measure ICP Fluorescent microspheres were injected through a left ventricular catheter during MAP conditions of 60 mm Hg, and blood samples were collected. This process was repeated with different-colored microspheres at the same isoflurane concentration during MAP conditions of 80 and 100 mm Hg achieved with IV administration of dobutamine. Central nervous system tissue samples were obtained after euthanasia to quantify fluorescence and calculate blood flow.

Results—Increased MAP did not increase ICP or blood flow in any of the brain tissues examined. However, values for blood flow were low for all tested brain regions except the pons and cerebellum. Spinal cord blood flow was significantly decreased at the highest MAP.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that healthy horses autoregulate blood flow in the CNS at moderate to deep planes of isoflurane anesthesia. Nonetheless, relatively low blood flows in the brain and spinal cord of anesthetized horses may increase risks for hypoperfusion and neurologic injury.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine concentrations of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP) in serum of healthy bitches during various stages of the reproductive cycle and in bitches with hyperadrenocorticism and to compare the dynamics of 17OHP with those of progesterone.

Design—Prospective evaluation study.

Animals—15 healthy sexually intact bitches and 28 spayed bitches with hyperadrenocorticism.

Procedures—11 healthy bitches were evaluated during estrus, nonpregnant diestrus, and anestrus (group 1); 4 other healthy bitches were evaluated during pregnancy and after ovariohysterectomy (group 2). Cycle stages were determined via physical examination, vaginal cytologic evaluation, and serum progesterone concentration. Bitches with hyperadrenocorticism were evaluated once at the time of diagnosis (group 3). Serum hormone concentrations were determined with immunoassays.

Results—In group 1, the serum 17OHP concentration was significantly higher in diestrus (median, 1.8 ng/mL) than in estrus (median, 1.1 ng/mL) and anestrus (median, 0.2 ng/mL) and higher in estrus than in anestrus. Changes in serum progesterone concentrations accounted for 22% (estrus) or 23% (diestrus) of the variation in serum 17OHP concentrations. In group 2, 17OHP and progesterone concentrations were significantly higher during pregnancy than after ovariohysterectomy. The serum 17OHP concentration in group 3 was significantly lower (median, 0.2 ng/mL) than in group 1 in estrus and diestrus and in group 2 during pregnancy (median, 0.7 ng/mL) but was not different from 17OHP concentrations in anestrus or after ovariohysterectomy (median, 0.2 ng/mL).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum 17OHP concentrations in healthy bitches increased during estrus, diestrus, and pregnancy and at those times were higher than in spayed bitches with hyperadrenocorticism.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association