Objective: To evaluate the effects of intrathoracic insufflation on cardiorespiratory variables and working space in cats undergoing video-assisted thoracic surgery. Study design: Prospective randomized study. Animals: Six healthy cats. Methods: Cats were anesthetized using a standardized protocol. A Swan-Ganz catheter was positioned in the pulmonary artery under fluoroscopic guidance for measurement of cardiac output. Intrathoracic pressures (ITP) of 0 (baseline), 3, and 5 mm Hg were induced with CO2 and maintained for 30 minutes. Statistical comparison of cardiorespiratory variables was performed. After the procedures, all cats were recovered from anesthesia. Videos of thoracic working space at each ITP level were scored in a blinded fashion by 3 board-certified surgeons using a numerical scale from 0-10. Results: All cats tolerated insufflation with 3 and 5 mm Hg for 30 minutes without oxygen desaturation, although ventilatory levels had to be increased substantially to maintain eucapnia and oxygenation. Cardiac index was not significantly different from baseline after 30 minutes at 3 mm Hg but was significantly lower after 30 minutes at 5 mm Hg compared with 3 mm Hg. Oxygen delivery was unaffected by 3 or 5 mm Hg compared with baseline. Scores for working space increased between baseline and 3 and 5 mm Hg but were not different between 3 and 5 mm Hg. Conclusion: CO2 insufflation to 5 mm Hg seems well tolerated in healthy cats, provided ventilatory settings are substantially increased as ITP increases. Clinical significance: Thoracic CO2 insufflation of 3 mm Hg in cats during video-assisted thoracic surgery is associated with less hemodynamic perturbation than 5 mm Hg insufflation and may provide the benefit of improved working space compared with baseline.
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