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Vet Anaesth Analg. 2011 Jul;38(4):344-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2995.2011.00627.x.

Effect of fentanyl target-controlled infusions on isoflurane minimum anaesthetic concentration and cardiovascular function in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

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  • 1Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA.



To determine the impact of three different target plasma concentrations of fentanyl on the minimum anaesthetic concentration (MAC) for isoflurane in the red-tailed hawk and the effects on the haemodynamic profile.


Experimental study.


Six healthy adult red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) of unknown sex with body weights (mean ± SD) of 1.21 ± 0.15 kg.


This study was undertaken in two phases. In the first phase anaesthesia was induced with isoflurane in oxygen via facemask and maintained with isoflurane delivered in oxygen via a Bain circuit. Following instrumentation baseline determination of the MAC for isoflurane was made for each animal using the bracketing method and a supramaximal electrical stimulus. End-tidal isoflurane concentration (E'Iso) was then set at 0.75 × MAC and after an appropriate equilibration period a bolus of fentanyl (20 μg kg(-1)) was administered intravenously (IV) in order to determine the pharmacokinetics of fentanyl in the isoflurane-anaesthetized red-tailed hawk. During the second phase anaesthesia was induced in a similar manner and E'Iso was set at 0.75 × MAC for each individual. Fentanyl was infused IV to achieve target plasma concentrations between 8 and 32 ng mL(-1). At each fentanyl plasma concentration, the MAC for isoflurane and cardiovascular variables were determined. Data were analyzed by use of repeated-measures anova.


Mean ± SD fentanyl plasma concentrations and isoflurane MACs were 0 ± 0, 8.51 ± 4, 14.85 ± 4.82 and 29.25 ± 11.52 ng mL(-1), and 2.05 ± 0.45%, 1.42 ± 0.53%, 1.14 ± 0.31% and 0.93 ± 0.32% for the target concentrations of 0, 8, 16 and 32 ng mL(-1), respectively. At these concentrations fentanyl significantly (p = 0.0016) decreased isoflurane MAC by 31%, 44% and 55%, respectively. Dose had no significant effect on heart rate, systolic, diastolic or mean arterial blood pressure.


Fentanyl produced a dose-related decrease of isoflurane MAC with minimal effects on measured cardiovascular parameters in red-tailed hawks.

© 2011 The Authors. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. © 2011 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists.

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