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Lab Anim. 2008 Jan;42(1):62-70. doi: 10.1258/la.2007.006048.

Changes in minimal alveolar concentration of isoflurane following treatment with medetomidine and tiletamine/zolazepam, epidural morphine or systemic buprenorphine in pigs.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to determine the changes in minimal alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane after treatment with medetomidine and tiletamine/zolazepam (MTZ), epidural morphine or systemic buprenorphine in 11 healthy crossbred pigs. The first part of this study was to measure the baseline values in pigs induced with isoflurane (5%) by face mask and maintained with isoflurane in air and oxygen for 2 h (ISO). Baseline isoflurane MAC was determined using mechanical stimulation. Thereafter, each pig was randomly chosen for a crossover test in which the same animal received three different treatments with at least one week in between treatments. The three treatments were as follows: induction of anaesthesia with medetomidine (0.05 mg kg(-1)) and tiletamine/zolazepam (2.5 mg kg(-1) each) given intramuscularly (MTZ); MTZ followed by epidural morphine (0.1 mg kg(-1); MTZ/M); and MTZ followed by intramuscular buprenorphine (0.1 mg kg(-1); MTZ/B). All pigs were maintained with isoflurane in oxygen and air for 2 h and their lungs were mechanically ventilated. The end-tidal isoflurane concentration, respiratory rate, inspiratory and expiratory O2 and CO2 concentrations, heart rate (HR) and arterial blood pressure were recorded every 10 min. Arterial blood gases were analysed every 20 min. Among the treatment groups, differences in isoflurane MAC were tested using GLM and Tukey's method for further comparison; P < 0.05 was adopted as significant. Isoflurane MAC was 1.9 +/- 0.3%. MTZ reduced isoflurane MAC to 0.6 +/- 0.1%. Additional morphine or buprenorphine reduced the MTZ isoflurane MAC further to 0.4 +/- 0.2 and 0.3 +/- 0.1%, respectively. During MTZ, MTZ/M and MTZ/B mean arterial blood pressure was higher and the alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference was lower compared with ISO. In conclusion, induction of anaesthesia with MTZ reduced the isoflurane MAC in pigs by 68%. Additional epidural morphine or systemic buprenorphine decreased MTZ isoflurane MAC by 33 and 50%, respectively.

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