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


Peter J Pascoe, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, 2112 Tupper Hall, Davis, CA 95616, USA. E-mail: pjpascoe@ucdavis.edu


Objective  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.

Study design  Experimental study.

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

Methods  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.

Results  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.

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