Objective—To evaluate the effects of increasing doses of remifentanil hydrochloride administered via constant rate infusion (CRI) on the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane in cats.
Animals—6 healthy adult cats.
Procedures—For each cat, 2 experiments were performed (2-week interval). On each study day, anesthesia was induced and maintained with isoflurane; a catheter was placed in a cephalic vein for the administration of lactated Ringer's solution or remifentanil CRIs, and a catheter was placed in the jugular vein for collection of blood samples for blood gas analyses. On the first study day, individual basal MAC (MACBasal) was determined for each cat. On the second study day, 3 remifentanil CRIs (0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 μg/kg/min) were administered (in ascending order); for each infusion, at least 30 minutes elapsed before determination of MAC (designated as MACR0.25, MACR0.5, and MACR1.0, respectively). A 15-minute washout period was allowed between CRIs. A control MAC (MACControl) was determined after the last remifentanil infusion.
Results—Mean ± SD MACBasal and MACControl values at sea level did not differ significantly (1.66 ± 0.08% and 1.52 ± 0.21%, respectively). The MAC values determined for each remifentanil CRI did not differ significantly. However, MACR0.25, MACR0.5, and MACR1.0 were significantly decreased, compared with MACBasal, by 23.4 ± 7.9%, 29.8 ± 8.3%, and 26.0 ± 9.4%, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 3 doses of remifentanil administered via CRI resulted in a similar degree of isoflurane MAC reduction in adult cats, indicating that a ceiling effect was achieved following administration of the lowest dose.