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OBJECTIVE To evaluate efficacy of an alveolar recruitment maneuver (ARM) with positive end-expiratory pressures (PEEPs) in anesthetized horses ventilated with oxygen or heliox (70% helium and 30% oxygen).

ANIMALS 6 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURES In a randomized crossover study, horses were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. Volume-controlled ventilation was performed with heliox or oxygen (fraction of inspired oxygen [Fio 2] > 90%). Sixty minutes after mechanical ventilation commenced, an ARM with PEEP (0 to 30 cm H2O in steps of 5 cm H2O every 5 minutes, followed by incremental steps back to 0 cm H2O) was performed. Peak inspiratory pressure, dynamic lung compliance (Cdyn), and Pao 2 were measured during each PEEP. Indices of pulmonary oxygen exchange and alveolar dead space were calculated. Variables were compared with baseline values (PEEP, 0 cm H2O) and between ventilation gases by use of repeated-measures ANOVAs.

RESULTS For both ventilation gases, ARM significantly increased pulmonary oxygen exchange indices and Cdyn. Mean ± SD Cdyn (506 ± 35 mL/cm H2O) and Pao 2-to-Fio 2 ratio (439 ± 36) were significantly higher and alveolar-arterial difference in Pao 2 (38 ± 11 mm Hg) was significantly lower for heliox, compared with values for oxygen (357 ± 50 mL/cm H2O, 380 ± 92, and 266 ± 88 mm Hg, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE An ARM in isoflurane-anesthetized horses ventilated with heliox significantly improved pulmonary oxygen exchange and respiratory mechanics by decreasing resistive properties of the respiratory system and reducing turbulent gas flow in small airways.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine the minimum alveolar concentration of desflurane (MACDES) and effects on cardiovascular variables in positive-pressure ventilated sheep.

ANIMALS 13 adult female sheep.

PROCEDURES Anesthesia was induced with desflurane. After a 30-minute equilibration at an end-tidal concentration of desflurane (et DES) of 10.5%, an electrical stimulus (5 Hz/ms and 50 mA) was applied for 1 minute or until gross purposeful movement occurred. The et DES was then changed by 0.5% (modified up-down method), depending on whether a positive motor response had been elicited, and stimulation was repeated. The MACDES was the et DES midway between a positive and negative response. After MACDES was determined, et DES was increased to 1.3 and 1.6 MACDES. Animals were allowed to equilibrate for 15 minutes, and cardiovascular, blood gas, acid-base, and hematologic variables were measured. Times to induction of anesthesia, extubation, attainment of sternal position, and standing and duration of anesthesia were recorded.

RESULTS Mean ± SD MACDES was 9.81 ± 0.79%. Times to intubation, extubation, and standing were 4.81 ± 2.21 minutes, 14.09 ± 4.05 minutes, and 32.4 ± 12.5 minutes, respectively. Duration of anesthesia was 226 ± 22 minutes. Heart rate increased significantly at induction of anesthesia but otherwise remained at preanesthetic rates. Arterial blood pressures progressively decreased with increasing et DES; pressures increased slightly only in response to noxious stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The MACDES determined here compared favorably with that determined for other sheep populations and indicated similar anesthetic potency as in other species. Desflurane caused dose-dependent arterial hypotension, which indicated the need for careful blood pressure monitoring.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research