Comparison of two intravenous anesthetic infusion regimens for alfaxalone in cats

Published:April 10, 2018DOI:



      To compare the performance of an alfaxalone constant rate intravenous (IV) infusion versus a 3-step IV infusion, both following a loading dose, for the maintenance of a target plasma alfaxalone concentration of 7.6 mg L–1 (effective plasma alfaxalone concentration for immobility in 99% of the population) in cats.

      Study design

      Prospective randomized crossover study.


      A group of six healthy, adult male neutered cats.


      Catheters were placed in a jugular vein for blood sampling and in a medial saphenous vein for drug administration. An IV bolus of alfaxalone (2 mg kg–1) was administered, followed by either 0.2 mg kg−1 minute−1 for 240 minutes (single infusion; SI) or 0.4 mg kg−1 minute−1 for 10 minutes, then 0.3 mg kg−1 minute−1 for 30 minutes, and then 0.2 mg kg−1 minute−1 for 200 minutes (3-step infusion; 3-step). Plasma alfaxalone concentration was measured at six time points during the infusions. Measures of performance were calculated for each infusion regimen and compared using the paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test.


      Median (range) absolute performance error, divergence, median prediction error and wobble were 15 (8–19)%, −8 (−12 to −6)% hour−1, −12 (−19 to −7)% and 10 (8–19)%, respectively, in the SI treatment, and 6 (2–16)%, 0 (−13 to 2)% hour−1, 1 (−16 to 4)% and 4 (3–6)% respectively, in the 3-step treatment and were significantly smaller in the 3-step treatment than in the SI treatment.

      Conclusion and clinical relevance

      After IV administration of a bolus dose, a 3-step infusion regimen can better maintain stable plasma alfaxalone concentrations close to the target concentration than a single constant rate infusion.


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