Effect of protective padding on forelimb intracompartmental muscle pressures in anesthetized horses.

W. A. Lindsay, Peter J Pascoe, W. N. McDonell, M. L. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Wick catheters were used to measure intracompartmental muscle pressures (ICMP) within the long heads of the triceps brachii and extensor carpi radialis muscles of 8 horses maintained under halothane anesthesia while their breathing was controlled by intermittent positive-pressure ventilation. Blood gas, cardiac output, and blood pressure determinations were monitored to maintain a stable plane of anesthesia. The horses were positioned in left lateral recumbency and were placed sequentially on each of 4 contact surfaces for 1 hour. The 4 surfaces used for each horse were concrete, foam rubber, air dunnage bag, and a water mattress. Hematologic and biochemical determinations were made before and 24 hours after anesthesia. All horses recovered from the anesthesia. One horse had forelimb lameness for 36 hours after anesthesia, which was clinically diagnosed as a myoneuropathy. The ICMP values were markedly elevated in the muscle bellies of the lower limb of all horses. Supporting the horse on a water mattress caused the least dramatic pressure elevation and foam caused the most. The triceps muscle and, to a lesser extent, the extensor carpi radialis muscle of the lower limb are at risk of ischemia in anesthetized horses because the ICMP may exceed the critical closing pressure of 30 mm of Hg required for capillary blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-691
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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