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  • Author or Editor: Anthony Nicholson x
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Atracurium besylate, a nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent, was administered to 24 isoflurane-anesthetized domestic chickens. Birds were randomly assigned to 4 groups, and atracurium was administered at dosage of 0.15, 0.25, 0.35 or 0.45 mg/kg of body weight. The time of onset of twitch depression, the amount of maximal twitch depression, and the duration of muscular relaxation were recorded. After return to control twitch height, atracurium was further administered to achieve > 75% twitch depression. When twitch depression reached 75% during noninduced recovery, 0 5 mg of edrophonium/kg was administered to reverse the muscle relaxation. Throughout the experimental period, cardiovascular, arterial blood gas, and acid-base variables were monitored.

The effective dosage of atracurium to result in 95% twitch depression in 50% of birds, (ed 95/50) was calculated, using probit analysis, to be 0.25 mg/kg, whereas the ed 95/95, the dosage of atracurium to result in 95% twitch depression in 95% of birds, was calculated by probit analysis to be 0.46 mg/kg. The total duration of action at dosage of 0.25 mg/kg was 34.5 ± 5.8 minutes; at the highest dosage (0 45 mg/kg), total duration increased 0 47.8 ± 10.3 minutes. The return to control twitch height was greatly hastened by administration of edrophonium. Small, but statistically significant changes in heart rate and systolic blood pressure, were associated with administration of atracurium and edrophonium. These changes would not be clinically relevant.

In this study, atracurium was found to be safe and reliable for induction of muscle relaxation in isoflurane-anesthetized chickens.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research