OBJECTIVE To evaluate agreement among diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia for scores determined by use of a simple descriptive scale (SDS) or a composite grading scale (CGS) for quality of recovery of horses from anesthesia and to investigate use of 3-axis accelerometry (3AA) for objective evaluation of recovery.
ANIMALS 12 healthy adult horses.
PROCEDURES Horses were fitted with a 3AA device and then were anesthetized. Eight diplomates evaluated recovery by use of an SDS, and 7 other diplomates evaluated recovery by use of a CGS. Agreement was tested with κ and AC1 statistics for the SDS and an ANOVA for the CGS. A library of mathematical models was used to map 3AA data against CGS scores.
RESULTS Agreement among diplomates using the SDS was slight (κ = 0.19; AC1 = 0.22). The CGS scores differed significantly among diplomates. Best fit of 3AA data against CGS scores yielded the following equation: RS = 9.998 × SG0.633 × ∑UG0.174, where RS is a horse's recovery score determined with 3AA, SG is acceleration of the successful attempt to stand, and ∑UG is the sum of accelerations of unsuccessful attempts to stand.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Subjective scoring of recovery of horses from anesthesia resulted in poor agreement among diplomates. Subjective scoring may lead to differences in conclusions about recovery quality; thus, there is a need for an objective scoring method. The 3AA system removed subjective bias in evaluations of recovery of horses and warrants further study.