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Lab Anim. 2010 Oct;44(4):329-36. doi: 10.1258/la.2010.009085. Epub 2010 May 27.

Isoflurane and sevoflurane provide equally effective anaesthesia in laboratory mice.

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Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Zurich, Sternwartstrasse 6, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


Isoflurane is currently the most common volatile anaesthetic used in laboratory mice, whereas in human medicine the more modern sevoflurane is often used for inhalation anaesthesia. This study aimed to characterize and compare the clinical properties of both anaesthetics for inhalation anaesthesia in mice. In an approach mirroring routine laboratory conditions (spontaneous breathing, gas supply via nose mask, preventing hypothermia by a warming mat) a 50 min anaesthesia was performed. Anaesthetics were administered in oxygen as carrier gas at standardized dosages of 1.5 minimum alveolar concentrations, which was 2.8% for isoflurane and 4.9% for sevoflurane. Both induction and recovery from anaesthesia proceeded quickly, within 1-2 min. During anaesthesia, all reflex testing was negative and no serious impairment of vital functions was found; all animals survived. The most prominent side-effect during anaesthesia was respiratory depression with hypercapnia, acidosis and a marked decrease in respiration rate. Under anaesthesia, heart rate and core body temperature remained within the normal range, but were significantly increased for 12 h after anaesthesia. Locomotor activity, daily food and water consumption and body weight progression showed no abnormalities after anaesthesia. No significant difference was found between the two anaesthetics. In conclusion, isoflurane and sevoflurane provided an equally reliable anaesthesia in laboratory mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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