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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Effects of sedation with dexmedetomidine and buprenorphine on echocardiographic variables, blood pressure and heart rate in healthy cats

Johard, Einar; Tidholm, Anna; Ljungvall, Ingrid; Haggstrom, Jens; Hoglund, Katja

Abstract

Objectives Sedative agents are occasionally used to enable echocardiographic examination when screening cats for heart disease, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Owing to their haemodynamic effects, sedative agents may alter echocardiographic measurements. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of the sedative combination dexmedetomidine and buprenorphine on echocardiographic variables, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) in healthy cats.Methods Fifty healthy, client-owned cats were prospectively recruited and included after physical examination. Cats were sedated intramuscularly with dexmedetomidine and buprenorphine, according to body weight. Blood pressure and HR measurements, echocardiographic and Doppler examinations were performed prior to sedation and repeated once cats had achieved acceptable sedation.Results Left ventricular internal diameter at end-diastole and systole, right ventricular internal diameter at end-diastole, left atrium (LA), pulmonary artery (PA) deceleration time, and systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure increased after sedation (P 0.022). Aortic and PA maximum velocity, fractional shortening, PA acceleration/deceleration time and HR decreased after sedation (P <0.0001). Interventricular septum at end-diastole and systole, left ventricular posterior wall at end-diastole and systole, aortic diameter (Ao), left atrial/aortic diameter (LA/Ao) and pulmonic acceleration time did not change.Conclusions and relevance Blood pressure increased and HR decreased post-sedation. While wall thickness and LA/Ao were not affected by sedation, indices of LA and left ventricular size increased. Further studies are needed using cats with HCM to assess the effect of this sedative combination on HCM screening results.

Published in

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
2018, Volume: 20, number: 6, pages: 554-562