To compare the effects of a dexmedetomidine-ketamine-midazolam (DKM) anesthetic protocol versus isoflurane inhalation anesthesia on echocardiographic variables and plasma cardiac troponin 1 (cTnI) concentration in black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs; Cynomys ludovicianus).
Nine 6-month-old sexually intact male captive BTPDs.
Each BTPD was randomly assigned to be anesthetized by IM administration of dexmedetomidine (0.25 mg/kg), ketamine (40 mg/kg), and midazolam (1.5 mg/kg) or via inhalation of isoflurane and oxygen. Three days later, each BTPD underwent the alternative anesthetic protocol. Echocardiographic data and a blood sample were collected within 5 minutes after initiation and just prior to cessation of each 45-minute-long anesthetic episode.
Time or anesthetic protocol had no significant effect on echocardiographic variables. For either protocol, plasma cTnI concentration did not differ with time. When administered as the first treatment, neither anesthetic protocol significantly affected plasma cTnI concentration. However, with regard to findings for the second treatments, plasma cTnI concentrations in isoflurane-treated BTPDs (n = 4; data for 1 animal were not analyzed because of procedural problems) were higher than values in DKM-treated BTPDs (4), which was suspected to be a carryover effect from prior DKM treatment.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
The DKM and isoflurane anesthetic protocols did not have any significant effect on echocardiographic measurements in the BTPDs. Increases in plasma cTnI concentration during the second anesthetic episode were evident when BTPDs underwent the DKM anesthetic protocol as the first of the 2 treatments, suggestive of potential myocardial injury associated with that anesthetic protocol. Clinicians should consider these findings, especially when evaluating BTPDs with known or suspected cardiac disease.
Objective—To assess the agreement and reliability of cardiac measurements obtained with 3 echocardiographic techniques in anesthetized red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).
Animals—10 red-tailed hawks.
Procedures—Transcoelomic, contrast transcoelomic, and transesophageal echocardiographic evaluations of the hawks were performed, and cineloops of imaging planes were recorded. Three observers performed echocardiographic measurements of cardiac variables 3 times on 3 days. The order in which hawks were assessed and echocardiographic techniques were used was randomized. Results were analyzed with linear mixed modeling, agreement was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients, and variation was estimated with coefficients of variation.
Results—Significant differences were evident among the 3 echocardiographic methods for most measurements, and the agreement among findings was generally low. Interobserver agreement was generally low to medium. Intraobserver agreement was generally medium to high. Overall, better agreement was achieved for the left ventricular measurements and for the transesophageal approach than for other measurements and techniques.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Echocardiographic measurements in hawks were not reliable, except when the left ventricle was measured by the same observer. Furthermore, cardiac morphometric measurements may not be clinically important. When measurements are required, one needs to consider that follow-up measurements should be performed by the same echocardiographer and should show at least a 20% difference from initial measurements to be confident that any difference is genuine.