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Sevoflurane in young calves
Sometimes anesthesia is indicated already in very young animals. But which protocol should be used? In this study, the cardiovascular effects of sevoflurane were evaluated in this very special group of patients. Result: It can be recommended as alternative to injectable or other inhalant anesthetics.

Six, healthy, 8-12-week-old Holstein calves weighing 80 ± 4.5 (mean ± SEM) kg were included in this prospective, experimental study.

Anesthesia was induced by face-mask administration of 7% sevoflurane in O2. Calves tracheae were intubated, placed in right lateral recumbency, and maintained with 3.7% end-tidal concentration sevoflurane for 30 minutes to allow catheterization of the auricular artery and placement of a Swan-Ganz thermodilution catheter into the pulmonary artery.

After instrumentation, administration of sevoflurane was temporarily discontinued until mean arterial pressure was > 100 mm Hg. Baseline values were recorded and the vaporizer output increased to administer 3.7% end-tidal sevoflurane concentration. Ventilation was controlled to maintain normocapnia.

The following were recorded at 5, 10, 15, 30 and 45 minutes after collection of baseline data and expressed as the mean value (± SEM): direct systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures; cardiac output; mean pulmonary arterial pressure; pulmonary arterial occlusion pressure, heart rate; and pulmonary arterial temperature.
Cardiac index and systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance values were calculated using standard formulae. Arterial blood gases were analyzed at baseline, and at 15 and 45 minutes. Differences from baseline values were determined using one-way analysis of variance for repeated measures with post-hoc differences between mean values identified using Dunnet`s test (p < 0.05).

Mean time from beginning sevoflurane administration to intubation of the trachea was 224 ± 9 seconds. The mean end-tidal sevoflurane concentration at baseline was 0.7 (± 0.11)%. Sevoflurane anesthesia was associated with decreased arterial blood pressure at all sampling times.

Mean arterial blood pressure decreased from a baseline value of 112 ± 7 mm Hg to a minimum value of 88 ± 4 mm Hg at 5 minutes. Compared with baseline, arterial pH was decreased at 15 minutes. Pulmonary arterial blood temperature was decreased at 15, 30 and 45 minutes. Arterial CO2 tension increased from a baseline value of 43 ± 3 to 54 ± 4 mm Hg (5.7 ± 0.4 to 7.2 ± 0.3 kPa) at 15 minutes. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure was increased at 30 and 45 minutes.

Pulmonary arterial occlusion pressure increased from a baseline value of 18 ± 2 to 23 ± 2 mm Hg at 45 minutes. There were no significant changes in other measured variables. All calves recovered from anesthesia uneventfully.

We conclude that sevoflurane for induction and maintenance of anesthesia was effective and reliable in these calves and that neither hypotension nor decreased cardiac output was a clinical concern. Therefore, the use of sevoflurane for mask induction and maintenance of anesthesia in young calves is a suitable alternative to injectable and other inhalant anesthetics.


Source: Greene, SA, Keegan, RD, Valdez, RA & Knowles, DK (2002): Cardiovascular effects of sevoflurane in Holstein calves. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 29 (2), 59-63.





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