OBJECTIVE To determine whether isoflurane-anesthetized cats with demonstrated resistance to the immobilizing effects of fentanyl would exhibit naltrexone-reversible sparing of the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane when fentanyl was coadministered with the centrally acting catecholamine receptor antagonist acepromazine. ANIMALS 5 healthy male purpose-bred cats. PROCEDURES Anesthesia was induced and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. Baseline isoflurane MAC was measured by use of a standard tail clamp stimulus and bracketing study design. Afterward, fentanyl was administered IV to achieve a plasma concentration of 100 ng/mL by means of target-controlled infusion, and isoflurane MAC was remeasured. Next, acepromazine maleate (0.1 mg/kg) was administered IV, and isoflurane MAC was remeasured. Finally, isoflurane concentration was equilibrated at 70% of the baseline MAC. Movement of cats in response to tail clamping was tested before and after IV bolus administration of naltrexone. Physiologic responses were compared among treatment conditions. RESULTS Isoflurane MAC did not differ significantly between baseline and fentanyl infusion (mean ± SD, 1.944 ± 0.111% and 1.982 ± 0.126%, respectively). Acepromazine with fentanyl significantly decreased isoflurane MAC to 1.002 ± 0.056% of 1 atm pressure. When isoflurane was increased to 70% of the baseline MAC, no cats moved in response to tail clamping before naltrexone administration, but all cats moved after naltrexone administration. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Acepromazine caused fentanyl to decrease the isoflurane MAC in cats that otherwise did not exhibit altered isoflurane requirements with fentanyl alone. Results suggested that opioid-mediated increases in brain catecholamine concentrations in cats counteract the opioid MAC-sparing effect.
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