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Am J Vet Res. 1998 Feb;59(2):182-5.

Cardiopulmonary effects of anesthesia induced and maintained with isoflurane in cats.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.



To determine the cardiopulmonary effects of anesthesia induced and maintained with isoflurane (ISO) in cats.


8 healthy cats between 1 and 5 years old.


Anesthesia was induced with ISO in oxygen. Two anesthetic depths were maintained in each cat; mean alveolar concentrations (MAC) were 1.3 and 2.0 times MAC. Ventilation was either spontaneous or controlled. Each cat received each treatment combination according to a Latin square design. Cardiopulmonary measurements were made after 20 minutes of constant conditions with each combination of anesthetic depth and ventilatory mode.


Cardiac index was not different between ISO doses, but 2.0 MAC ISO reduced arterial blood pressure and total peripheral resistance. Cardiac index and systolic arterial blood pressure were reduced by controlled ventilation. The PaCO2 and pulmonary artery pressure were highest in association with 2.0 MAC ISO during spontaneous ventilation. Changes in pHa were attributable to changes in PaCO2.


2.0 MAC ISO causes hypotension and hypercapnia; however, cardiac index is maintained. Hypercapnia may be abolished with controlled ventilation, but at the expense of reduced cardiac index. 1.3 MAC ISO results in minimal cardiopulmonary depression, especially when healthy cats are allowed to breathe spontaneously.


Hypoventilation associated with untoward physiologic responses to 2.0 MAC may be overcome with controlled ventilation, but results in marked reduction in cardiovascular performance; thus, use of 2.0 MAC ISO should be avoided in cats.

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