Effects of atropine on the arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine in xylazine-thiamylal-halothane-anesthetized horses

Gwendolyn S. Light From the Department of Anatomy, Physiological Sciences and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27601.

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Peter W. Hellyer From the Department of Anatomy, Physiological Sciences and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27601.

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Summary

We investigated the influence of parasympathetic tone on the arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine in horses premedicated with xylazine, anesthetized with guaifenesin and thiamylal, and maintained on halothane in oxygen. Six horses were used in 12 randomized trials. In each trial, after end-tidal halothane concentration was stabilized at 1.1% (1.25 times minimum alveolar concentration [mac]) in oxygen, either saline solution (0.02 ml/kg of body weight) or atropine (0.04 mg/kg) was administered iv. Five minutes later, dobutamine infusion was started at dosage of 2.5 μg/kg/min, iv. The dobutamine infusion was continued for 10 minutes, or until 4 or more premature ventricular complexes occurred within 15 seconds, or sustained narrow-complex tachyarrhythmia clearly not sinus in nature occurred. If the criteria for termination were not met, dobutamine infusion was increased by 2.5 μg/kg/min, after the hemodynamic variables had returned to baseline. The horses were allowed to recover, and were rested for at least 1 week before the second trial. The arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine was calculated by multiplying the infusion rate by the elapsed time into infusion when arrhythmia occurred. There was significant difference between the arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine (add) in saline-treated horses (mean ± sem, add = 105.6 ± 16.3 μg/kg) and atropimzed horses (add = 36.2 ± 8.7 μg/kg). There were no differences in the prearrhythmia or immediate postarrhythmia ventricular heart rate (hr) or systolic (sap), diastolic (dap), or mean (map) arterial pressures between treated and control groups. The change in hemodynamic variables from prearrhythmia to immediate postarrhythmia formation was not different between the 2 groups. Ventricular beats were clearly evident in 8 of the 12 arrhythmias meeting the criteria for establishing the add. These results indicate that atropine may lower the arrhythmogenic threshold for dobutamine in halothane-anesthetized horses.

Summary

We investigated the influence of parasympathetic tone on the arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine in horses premedicated with xylazine, anesthetized with guaifenesin and thiamylal, and maintained on halothane in oxygen. Six horses were used in 12 randomized trials. In each trial, after end-tidal halothane concentration was stabilized at 1.1% (1.25 times minimum alveolar concentration [mac]) in oxygen, either saline solution (0.02 ml/kg of body weight) or atropine (0.04 mg/kg) was administered iv. Five minutes later, dobutamine infusion was started at dosage of 2.5 μg/kg/min, iv. The dobutamine infusion was continued for 10 minutes, or until 4 or more premature ventricular complexes occurred within 15 seconds, or sustained narrow-complex tachyarrhythmia clearly not sinus in nature occurred. If the criteria for termination were not met, dobutamine infusion was increased by 2.5 μg/kg/min, after the hemodynamic variables had returned to baseline. The horses were allowed to recover, and were rested for at least 1 week before the second trial. The arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine was calculated by multiplying the infusion rate by the elapsed time into infusion when arrhythmia occurred. There was significant difference between the arrhythmogenic dose of dobutamine (add) in saline-treated horses (mean ± sem, add = 105.6 ± 16.3 μg/kg) and atropimzed horses (add = 36.2 ± 8.7 μg/kg). There were no differences in the prearrhythmia or immediate postarrhythmia ventricular heart rate (hr) or systolic (sap), diastolic (dap), or mean (map) arterial pressures between treated and control groups. The change in hemodynamic variables from prearrhythmia to immediate postarrhythmia formation was not different between the 2 groups. Ventricular beats were clearly evident in 8 of the 12 arrhythmias meeting the criteria for establishing the add. These results indicate that atropine may lower the arrhythmogenic threshold for dobutamine in halothane-anesthetized horses.

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