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To compare the effects of 7.2% hypertonic and 0.9% isotonic saline (sodium chloride) solutions on cardiovascular parameters and plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations in healthy, isoflurane-anesthetized horses.


8 healthy horses.


In a prospective, randomized, crossover study, horses were anesthetized with isoflurane twice with a 14-day washout period between anesthetic episodes. While anesthetized, horses received a bolus (4 mL/kg) of 7.2% hypertonic saline solution (HS) or 0.9% isotonic saline solution (IS). Heart rate; systolic, mean, and diastolic arterial blood pressures; and central venous and pulmonary artery pressures were measured every 5 minutes; cardiac output was measured by means of thermodilution every 15 minutes. Systemic vascular resistance (SVR) was calculated. Blood samples were collected before and during anesthesia, and plasma AVP concentrations were determined with a validated ELISA. Data were analyzed with repeated-measures ANOVA and Pearson correlations.


HS caused an increase in systolic (P = .003) and mean (P = .023) arterial blood pressures that lasted for 30 minutes. The SVR was increased (P < .001) for 45 minutes with HS compared with the SVR after IS administration. Mean plasma AVP concentration increased (P = .03) 15 minutes after HS administration, with the increase lasting 90 minutes.


A bolus of HS resulted in a clinically relevant increase in blood pressure in healthy, isoflurane-anesthetized horses. This effect was attributed to volume recruitment and an increase in SVR. Administration of HS offers an option for improving arterial blood pressure in anesthetized horses.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research