Effects of fentanyl on isoflurane minimum alveolar concentration in New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

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OBJECTIVE To determine effects of increasing plasma fentanyl concentrations on the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane in rabbits. ANIMALS 6 adult female New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). PROCEDURES Rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane in oxygen; ventilation was controlled and body temperature maintained between 38.5° and 39.5°C. Fentanyl was administered IV by use of a computer-controlled infusion system to achieve 6 target plasma concentrations. Isoflurane MAC was determined in duplicate by use of the bracketing technique with a supramaximal electrical stimulus. Blood samples were collected for measurement of plasma fentanyl concentration at each MAC determination. The MAC values were analyzed with a repeatedmeasures ANOVA followed by Holm-Sidak pairwise comparisons. RESULTS Mean ± SD plasma fentanyl concentrations were 0 ± 0 ng/mL (baseline), 1.2 ± 0.1 ng/mL, 2.2 ± 0.3 ng/mL, 4.4 ± 0.4 ng/mL, 9.2 ± 0.4 ng/mL, 17.5 ± 2.6 ng/mL, and 36.8 ± 2.4 ng/mL. Corresponding mean values for isoflurane MAC were 1.92 ± 0.16%, 1.80 ± 0.16%, 1.60 ± 0.23%, 1.46 ± 0.22%, 1.12 ± 0.19%, 0.89 ± 0.14%, and 0.70 ± 0.15%, respectively. Isoflurane MAC for plasma fentanyl concentrations _ 2.2 ng/mL differed significantly from the baseline value. In 3 rabbits, excessive spontaneous movement prevented MAC determination at the highest plasma fentanyl concentration. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Fentanyl reduced isoflurane MAC by approximately 60% in New Zealand White rabbits. Further studies will be needed to investigate the cardiorespiratory effects of isoflurane and fentanyl combinations in rabbits; however, fentanyl may prove to be a useful adjunct to inhalation anesthesia in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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