Detomidine reduces isoflurane anesthetic requirement (MAC) in horses

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18 Scopus citations


Objective To quantitate the dose- and time-related magnitude of the anesthetic sparing effect of, and selected physiological responses to detomidine during isoflurane anesthesia in horses. Study design Randomized cross-over study. Animals Three, healthy, young adult horses weighing 485 ± 14 kg. Methods Horses were anesthetized on two occasions to determine the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane in O2 and then to measure the anesthetic sparing effect (time-related MAC reduction) following IV detomidine (0.03 and 0.06 mg kg−1). Selected common measures of cardiopulmonary function, blood glucose and urinary output were also recorded. Results Isoflurane MAC was 1.44 ± 0.07% (mean ± SEM). This was reduced by 42.8 ± 5.4% and 44.8 ± 3.0% at 83 ± 23 and 125 ± 36 minutes, respectively, following 0.03 and 0.06 mg kg−1, detomidine. The MAC reduction was detomidine dose- and time-dependent. There was a tendency for mild cardiovascular and respiratory depression, especially following the higher detomidine dose. Detomidine increased both blood glucose and urine flow; the magnitude of these changes was time- and dose-dependent. Conclusions Detomidine reduces anesthetic requirement for isoflurane and increases blood glucose concentration and urine flow in horses. These changes were dose- and time-related. Clinical relevance The results imply potent anesthetic sparing actions by detomidine. The detomidine-related increased urine flow should be considered in designing anesthetic protocols for individual horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Alpha-2 agonist
  • Detomidine
  • Horse
  • Isoflurane
  • MAC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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