Objective-To determine the pharmacokinetics of dexmedetomidine administered as a short-duration IV infusion in isoflurane-anesthetized cats. Animals-6 healthy adult domestic female cats. Procedures-Dexmedetomidine hydrochloride was injected IV (10 μg/kg over 5 minutes [rate, 2 μg/kg/min]) in isoflurane-anesthetized cats. Blood samples were obtained immediately prior to and at 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 240, and 480 minutes following the start of the IV infusion. Collected blood samples were transferred to tubes containing EDTA, immediately placed on ice, and then centrifuged at 3,901 X g for 10 minutes at 4°C. The plasma was harvested and stored at -20°C until analyzed. Plasma dexmedetomidine concentrations were determined by means of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Dexmedetomidine plasma concentration-time data were fitted to compartmental models. Results-A 2-compartment model with input in and elimination from the central compartment best described the disposition of dexmedetomidine administered via short-duration IV infusion in isoflurane-anesthetized cats. Weighted mean ± SEM apparent volume of distribution of the central compartment and apparent volume of distribution at steady-state were 402 ± 47 mL/kg and 1,701 ± 200 mL/kg, respectively; clearance and terminal half-life (harmonic mean ± jackknife pseudo-SD) were 6.3 ± 2.8 mL/min/kg and 198 ± 75 minutes, respectively. The area under the plasma concentration curve and maximal plasma concentration were 1,061 ± 292 min·ng/mL and 17.6 ± 1.8 ng/mL, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Disposition of dexmedetomidine administered via short-duration IV infusion in isoflurane-anesthetized cats was characterized by a moderate clearance and a long terminal half-life.
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