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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Muscle metabolic changes associated with long-term inhalation anaesthesia in the horse analysed by muscle biopsy and microdialysis techniques

Edner A, Essen-Gustavsson B, Nyman G


During anaesthesia in the horse, muscle blood flow has been found to be reduced, possibly leading to hypoxia or ischaemia in the muscle. The aim of this study was to use the muscle biopsy and microdialysis techniques to determine whether long-term inhalation anaesthesia in laterally recumbent horses induces metabolic changes in gluteal muscle indicative of anaerobic metabolism. Muscle biopsies and plasma samples were taken from seven horses at the start and end of halothane anaesthesia. In six isoflurane-anaesthetised horses, given three pharmacological provocations (dobutamine, detomidine, acepromazine), repeated blood samples and microdialysis was performed during anaesthesia and muscle biopsies were taken before and at the end of anaesthesia. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate, adenosine monophosphate, inosine monophosphate (IMP) creatine phosphate and lactate concentrations did not differ between dependent and non-dependent muscles at either sampling time. Creatine phosphate decreased in both the halothane (-38%) and isoflurane (-28%) group. In the halothane group, ATP was decreased (-15%) at the end of anaesthesia, while IMP was increased (+32%). Lactate in muscle and plasma increased in both groups. Lactate in dialysate increased after induction and remained elevated above plasma concentrations. These results show that long-term inhalation anaesthesia in horses is associated with an anaerobic metabolic response within the muscle and that microdialysis can be used to detect metabolic changes within the muscle during equine anaesthesia


muscle; metabolism; anaesthesia; horse

Published in

Zentralblatt für Veterinärmedizin
2005, Volume: 52, number: 2, pages: 99-107

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