Rabbit model of chest wall rigidity induced by fentanyl and the effects of apomorphine

João Henrique Neves Soares, Robert J Brosnan, Andrea Smith, Philipp Mayhew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A rabbit model for fentanyl-induced chest wall rigidity and the effect of apomorphine was evaluated. Eleven New Zealand adult rabbits were anesthetized and mechanically ventilated. An esophageal balloon catheter was used to estimate pleural pressure (Ppl). Chest wall compliance (Ccw) at baseline was calculated during pentobarbital anesthesia. A loading dose of 0.1mgkg-1 of fentanyl followed by infusion of 0.01mgkg-1min-1 was started in all animals, and Ccw reassessed. In the rabbits that developed decreased Ccw, apomorphine 0.4mgkg-1 followed by a 0.004mgkg-1min-1 was administered and Ccw was reassessed. Ccw at baseline and after fentanyl and fentanyl+apomorphine were compared with one-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni-Holm test (P<0.05). In 5 rabbits, Ccw decreased significantly after fentanyl administration and apomorphine was able to restore Ccw to baseline values. Rabbits can be used as a model for fentanyl-induced chest wall rigidity. Results from this study support central dopaminergic pathways as being at least partially responsible for the opioid-induced chest wall rigidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-52
Number of pages3
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Apomorphine
  • Dopaminergic
  • Fentanyl
  • Rabbit
  • Rigidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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