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Anesthetic management in renal transplantation of cats
Renal failure is a raising problem in older cats, and renal transplantation is more and more performed in these patients. But which anesthetic protocol offers the lowest risk in this anesthetic challenge? An American group followed 30 feline heterotopic renal transplant recipients that had end-stage renal failure in a retrospective clinical study.

Cats were included only if they had been treated for hypertension using a beta-adrenergic antagonist, a calcium channel blocker or hemodialysis.
The medical records were reviewed from Data regarding signalment, preoperative management, surgical technique, type and doses of anesthetics administered, perioperative hemodynamics and intra- and postoperative complications, postoperative analgesia, morbidity and early mortality were recorded. Data were expressed as mean ± SD.

Preanesthetic medication included a combination of an anticholinergic and an opioid (oxymorphone). Anesthesia induction was performed mostly with isoflurane and oxygen delivered by mask. Anesthesia maintenance was primarily achieved with isoflurane in 100% oxygen. Nitrous oxide was often used as part of the anesthetic technique. The mean duration of anesthesia was 4.6 hours ± 27 minutes. The mean renal allograft ischemic time was 60 minutes. During the anesthetic period, the majority of the recipient cats received either fresh whole blood (FWB) (N = 25, 83%), cross-matched packed red blood cells (PRBC) (N = 3, 10%) or fresh frozen plasma (FFP) (N = 2, 7%) combined with a balanced electrolyte solution. Blood products administered averaged 63 ± 34 mL and crystalloid 94 ± 62 mL. The most common treated intraoperative complications were hypotension (N = 14, 47%), hypothermia (N = 13, 43%), metabolic acidosis (N = 11, 37%), hypocalcemia (N = 5, 17%), hypoglycemia (N = 4, 13%), hypertension (N = 2, 7%), bradycardia (N = 1, 3%), and ventricular premature contractions (N = 1, 3%). All cats received opioid analgesics postoperatively. Complications observed in the first 24 hours postoperatively were hypertension (N = 20, 67%), hematuria (N = 14, 47%), electrolyte disturbances (N = 9, 30%), temperature imbalances (N = 5, 17%), decreased PCV requiring blood transfusion (N = 5, 17%), decreased perfusion of a foot associated with external iliac anastomosis technique (N = 5, 17%), seizures associated with hypertension (N = 3, 10%), uroabdomen (N = 2, 7%), acute graft rejection (N = 1, 3%) and, corneal ulceration (N = 1, 3%). Survival rates in the perioperative period were 100, 96.7, and 93.4% intraoperatively, at 24 hours, and 7 days following surgery.

Successful anesthesia can be performed in critically ill renal transplant recipients. However, for optimal graft function and patient survival, normothermia, normovolemia, normotension, and normal acid-base and electrolyte balance should be carefully maintained. Successful anesthetic management requires understanding of the pathophysiology of end-stage renal disease and the maintenance of homeostasis during the different stages of the perioperative period.


Source: Valverde, Celia R, Gregory, Clare R & Ilkiw, Janet E (2002): Anesthetic management in feline renal transplantation. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 29 (3), 117-125.





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