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  • Author or Editor: Gregg D. Kortz x
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Objective—To assess pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and tolerability of oral levetiracetam administered as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with poorly controlled suspected idiopathic epilepsy.

Design—Open-label, noncomparative clinical trial.

Animals—12 cats suspected to have idiopathic epilepsy that was poorly controlled with phenobarbital or that had unacceptable adverse effects when treated with phenobarbital.

Procedures—Cats were treated with levetiracetam (20 mg/kg [9.1 mg/lb], PO, q 8 h). After a minimum of 1 week of treatment, serum levetiracetam concentrations were measured before and 2, 4, and 6 hours after drug administration, and maximum and minimum serum concentrations and elimination half-life were calculated. Seizure frequencies before and after initiation of levetiracetam treatment were compared, and adverse effects were recorded.

Results—Median maximum serum levetiracetam concentration was 25.5 μg/mL, median minimum serum levetiracetam concentration was 8.3 μg/mL, and median elimination half-life was 2.9 hours. Median seizure frequency prior to treatment with levetiracetam (2.1 seizures/mo) was significantly higher than median seizure frequency after initiation of levetiracetam treatment (0.42 seizures/mo), and 7 of 10 cats were classified as having responded to levetiracetam treatment (ie, reduction in seizure frequency of ≥ 50%). Two cats had transient lethargy and inappetence.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that levetiracetam is well tolerated in cats and may be useful as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with idiopathic epilepsy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To develop a method for surgical placement of a commercial microsensor intracranial pressure (ICP) transducer and to characterize normal ICP and cerebral perfusion pressures (CPP) in conscious adult horses.

Animals—6 healthy castrated male adult horses (1 Holsteiner, 1 Quarter Horse, and 4 Thoroughbreds).

Procedure—Anesthesia was induced and maintained by use of isoflurane as the sole agent. Catheters were inserted percutaneously into the jugular vein and carotid artery. A microsensor ICP transducer was inserted in the subarachnoid space by means of right parietal craniotomy. The burr hole was then sealed with bone wax, the surgical incision was sutured, and the transducer was secured in place. Measurements were collected 1 hour after horses were able to stand during recovery from anesthesia.

Results—Mean ± SD values for ICP and CPP were 2 ± 4 and 102 ± 26 mm Hg, respectively.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—This report describes a relatively facile technique for obtaining direct and accurate ICP measurements for adult horses. The ICP values obtained in this study are within reference ranges established for other species and provide a point of reference for the diagnosis of abnormal ICP in adult horses. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1252–1256)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure the effects of isoflurane end-tidal concentration and mode of ventilation (spontaneous vs controlled) on intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) in horses.

Animals—6 adult horses of various breeds.

Procedure—Anesthesia was induced and maintained with isoflurane in O2 in 6 healthy, unmedicated, adult horses. Using a subarachnoid strain gauge transducer, ICP was measured. Blood gas tensions and carotid artery pressures also were measured. Four isoflurane doses were studied, corresponding to the following multiples of the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC): 1.0 MAC, 1.2 MAC, 1.4 MAC, and 1.6 MAC. Data were collected during controlled ventilation and spontaneous ventilation at each dose.

Results—Increasing isoflurane end-tidal concentration induced significant dose-dependent decreases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and CPP but no change in ICP. Hypercapnic spontaneous ventilation caused significant increases in MAP and ICP, compared with normocapnic controlled ventilation; no change in CPP was observed.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Hypercapnia likely increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) by maintaining CPP in the face of presumed cerebral vasodilation in healthy anesthetized horses. The effect of isoflurane dose on CBF, however, remains unresolved because it depends on the opposinginfluences of a decrease in CCP and cerebral vasodilation. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:21–25)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research