Research paper| Volume 45, ISSUE 3, P250-259, May 2018

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Effects of ketamine constant rate infusions on cardiac biomarkers and cardiac function in dogs

Published:December 18, 2017DOI:



      To evaluate the effects of ketamine continuous rate infusions (CRI) at two dose rates on cardiovascular function and serum creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB) and troponin I in healthy conscious dogs.

      Study design

      Experimental, prospective, crossover, randomized, blinded study.


      Eight adult mixed-breed dogs, aged 6±1 years and weighing 19±8.6 kg (mean±standard deviation).


      Dogs were administered an intravenous bolus of ketamine (0.5 mg kg−1) followed by a ketamine CRI for 12 hours (20 μg kg−1 minute−1; treatment TC20 or 40 μg kg−1 minute−1; treatment TC40). Sedation, heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), electrocardiographic and echocardiographic parameters were evaluated at baseline (T0) and 1 (T1), 2 (T2), 4 (T4), 8 (T8), 12 (T12) and 24 (T24) hours after ketamine infusion started. Serum concentrations of CK-MB and troponin I were measured at baseline and 12, 24 and 48 hours after infusion started.


      HR increased over the first 4 hours, significantly at T1 in TC20 and at T4 in TC40 when compared with T0 (p < 0.05). MAP was significantly increased at T2 in TC40 when compared with TC20. Behavioral changes, such as stereotypical head movements and twitches, occurred within 4 hours in TC40. There were no significant changes in echocardiographic examinations in any dog when compared with baseline. There were no temporal changes in serum CK-MB activity either within or between treatments (p > 0.05). No troponin I was detected in any sample.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      No indication of myocardial injury resulting from ketamine infusion was detected in this study in healthy dogs. Further studies are needed to assess the ketamine infusion effects on antinociception and other organ function not evaluated in the present study.


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