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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Comparison of two injectable anaesthetic techniques on induction and subsequent anaesthesia in pigs

Ryden, Anneli; Fisichella, Sheila; Perchiazzi, Gaetano; Nyman, Gorel


Pig experiments often require anaesthesia, and a rapid stress-free induction is desired. Induction drugs may alter the subsequent anaesthesia. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare, in pigs, the effects of two different injectable anaesthetic techniques on the induction and on the physiological variables in a subsequent eight hours of total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA). Twelve domestic castrates (Swedish Landrace/Yorkshire) 27-31 kg were used. The pigs were randomly assigned to different induction drug combinations of zolazepam-tiletamine and medetomidine intramuscularly (ZTMe) or midazolam, ketamine intramuscularly and fentanyl intravenously (MiKF). Time from injection to unconsciousness was recorded and the ease of endotracheal intubation assessed. The TIVA infusion rate was adjusted according to the response exhibited from the nociceptive stimulus delivered by mechanically clamping the dewclaw. The time from injection to unconsciousness was briefer and intubation was easier in the ZTMe group. Results from the recorded heart rate, cardiac index and arterial blood pressure variables were satisfactorily preserved and cardiovascular function was maintained in both groups. Shivering was not observed in the ZTMe group, but was observed in four of the pigs in the MiKF group. The requirement of TIVA was lower in the ZTMe group. In conclusion, ZTMe had better results than MiKF in areas such as shorter induction time, better intubation scoring results and less adjustment and amount of TIVA required up to six hours of anaesthesia. The results may have been due to a greater depth of anaesthesia achieved with the ZTMe combination at the dose used.


Fentanyl; intubation; ketamine; medetomidine; midazolam; swine; tiletamine; TIVA; zolazepam

Published in

Laboratory Animals
2021, volume: 55, number: 6, article number: 00236772211029810

Authors' information

Ryden, Anneli (Rydén, Anneli)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Fisichella, Sheila
No organisation
Perchiazzi, Gaetano
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

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