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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Comparison of two non-invasive arterial blood pressure monitoring techniques in brown bears (Ursus arctos)

Morelli, Jacopo; Briganti, Angela; Fuchs, Boris; Huber, Duro; Evans, Alina L.; Reljic, Slaven; Arnemo, Jon M.


Monitoring arterial blood pressure (BP), represents a more accurate evaluation of hemodynamics than heart rate alone and is essential for preventing and treating infra- and post-operative complications in wildlife chemical immobilization.The objectives of the study were to test the correlation between standard oscillometry and Korotkoffs technique in anesthetized free-ranging brown bears in Croatia and Scandinavia and to assess the blood pressure in both locations.Five bears were snared and darted with xylazine and ketamine in Croatia, and 20 bears were darted from a helicopter with medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam in Scandinavia. Blood pressure was simultaneously measured with both techniques every 5 minutes. Correlation between techniques, trends of BP variation, and the factors of the capture which likely influenced BP were assessed.Successful measurements of BP were achieved in 93% of all attempts with the Korotkoffs technique but in only 29% of all attempts with oscillometry. The latter method mostly provided lower values of BP compared to Korotkoffs technique in yearlings. Most bears showed a decreasing trend in systolic and mean BP over time, consistent between the two techniques. All bears were hypertensive: the auscultatory technique detected moderate to severe systolic hypertension in 25% and 84% of bears in Croatia and in Scandinavia, respectively, with significantly higher BP in subadults and adults compared to yearlings. Only Korotkoffs method resulted in a reliable and effective tool for BP assessment in brown bears. The anesthetic protocols used in the present study in association with the capture methods produced hypertension in all animals.


Brown bear; Blood pressure; Korotkoff; Oscillometry; Hypertension; Sphygmomanometer

Published in

Veterinary and Animal Science
2020, volume: 9, article number: 100094
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Morelli, Jacopo
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Briganti, Angela
University of Pisa
Fuchs, Boris
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Huber, Duro
University of Zagreb
Reljic, Slaven
University of Zagreb
Evans, Alina L.
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

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