Changes in the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane and some cardiopulmonary measurements during three continuous infusion rates of dexmedetomidine in dogs

Peter J Pascoe, Marja Raekallio, Erja Kuusela, Brett McKusick, Mikael Granholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure the change in the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane associated with three constant rate infusions of dexmedetomidine. Study Design: Prospective, randomized, and blinded experimental trial. Animals: Six healthy 6-year-old Beagles weighing between 13.0 and 17.7 kg. Methods: The dogs received each of four treatments; saline or dexmedetomidine at 0.1, 0.5 or 3 μg kg-1 loading dose given intravenously (IV) over 6 minutes followed by infusions at 0.1, 0.5 or 3 μg kg-1 hour-1, respectively. There were 2 weeks between treatments. The dogs were mask-induced with and maintained on isoflurane in oxygen. Acetated Ringer's (5 mL kg -1 hour-1) and saline or dexmedetomidine (each at 0.5 mL kg-1 hour-1) were given IV. Pulse rate, blood pressure, samples for the measurement of blood gases, pH, lactate, packed cell volume (PCV), total protein (TP) and dexmedetomidine concentrations were obtained from an arterial catheter. Sixty minutes after induction minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) was determined by intermittently applying supramaximal electrical stimuli to the thoracic and pelvic limbs. Cardiopulmonary measurements and arterial blood samples were collected before each set of stimuli. Statistical analyses were conducted with analysis of variance or mixed models according to the experimental design. Results: There was a significant decrease in the MAC of isoflurane associated with 0.5 and 3 μg kg -1 hour-1 but not with 0.1 mg kg-1hour -1. Serum concentrations of dexmedetomidine were not measurable at the 0.1 mg kg-1 hour-1 and averaged 0.198 ± 0.081 and 1.903 ±0.621 ng mL-1 for the 0.5 and 3 μg kg -1 hour-1 infusion rates, respectively. Heart rate decreased with increasing doses of dexmedetomidine while blood pressure increased. Packed cell volume increased at 3 μg kg-1 hour -1 but not with other doses. Conclusions and Clinical relevance: Dexmedetomidine infusions decrease the intra-operative requirement for isoflurane and may be useful in managing dogs undergoing surgery, where the provision of analgesia and limitation of the stress response is desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006



  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Heart rate
  • Isoflurane
  • Minimum alveolar concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this