To compare the sublingual microcirculation between healthy horses anesthetized for elective procedures and horses with colic anesthetized for abdominal surgery and to determine the effect of mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) on the microcirculation.
9 horses in the elective group and 8 horses in the colic group.
Sublingual microcirculation was assessed with sidestream dark field video microscopy. Videos were captured at 3 time points during anesthesia. Recorded microvasculature parameters were De Backer score (DBS), total density of perfused vessels (PVD) and small vessels (PVD-S), total proportion of perfused vessels (PPV) and small vessels (PPV-S), vascular flow index (MFI), and heterogeneity index (HI). Blood pressure during hypotensive (MAP < 60 mm Hg) and normotensive (MAP ≥ 60 mm Hg) episodes was also recorded.
During normotensive episodes, the elective group had significantly better PPV and PPV-S versus the colic group (median PPV, 76% vs 50%; median PPV-S, 73% vs 51%). In both groups, PPV decreased during anesthesia (elective group, −29%; colic group, −16%) but significantly improved in the elective group 15 minutes before the end of anesthesia (59%). During hypotensive episodes, PVD-S was better preserved in the colic group (11.1 vs 3.8 mm/mm2). No differences were identified for the microcirculatory parameters between normo- and hypotensive episodes in the colic group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Sublingual microcirculation was better preserved in healthy horses anesthetized for elective procedures than in horses with colic anesthetized for abdominal surgery despite resuscitation maneuvers. Results indicated that the macrocirculation and microcirculation in critically ill horses may be independent.