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OBJECTIVE To determine effects of anesthesia on plasma concentrations and pulsatility of ACTH in samples obtained from the cavernous sinus and jugular vein of horses.

ANIMALS 6 clinically normal adult horses.

PROCEDURES Catheters were placed in a jugular vein and into the cavernous sinus via a superficial facial vein. The following morning (day 1), cavernous sinus blood samples were collected every 5 minutes for 1 hour (collection of first sample = time 0) and jugular venous blood samples were collected at 0, 30, and 60 minutes. On day 2, horses were sedated with xylazine hydrochloride and anesthesia was induced with propofol mixed with ketamine hydrochloride. Horses were positioned in dorsal recumbency. Anesthesia was maintained with isoflurane in oxygen and a continuous rate infusion of butorphanol tartrate. One hour after anesthesia was induced, the blood sample protocol was repeated. Plasma ACTH concentrations were quantified by use of a commercially available sandwich assay. Generalized estimating equations that controlled for horse and an expressly automated deconvolution algorithm were used to determine effects of anesthesia on plasma ACTH concentrations and pulsatility, respectively.

RESULTS Anesthesia significantly reduced the plasma ACTH concentration in blood samples collected from the cavernous sinus.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Mean plasma ACTH concentrations in samples collected from the cavernous sinus of anesthetized horses were reduced. Determining the success of partial ablation of the pituitary gland in situ for treatment of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction may require that effects of anesthesia be included in interpretation of plasma ACTH concentrations in cavernous sinus blood.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research