Thermal antinociceptive, sedative and cardiovascular effects of Governing Vessel 1 dexmedetomidine pharmacopuncture in healthy cats

Published:March 28, 2019DOI:



      To compare the antinociceptive, sedative and cardiovascular effects of dexmedetomidine pharmacopuncture at Governing Vessel 1 (GV 1) with dexmedetomidine intramuscular (IM) administration.

      Study design

      Randomized, masked crossover design.


      A group of eight healthy female cats.


      Cats were randomly administered either dexmedetomidine (0.005 mg kg–1; Dex–IM) IM or at acupuncture point GV 1 (Dex–P) separated by 1 week. Prior to and up to 120 minutes posttreatment, skin temperature (ST), thermal threshold (TT), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (fR), sedation, muscle relaxation and auditory response scores were recorded. Parametric data were analyzed using a two-way repeated measures anova followed by Tukey’s test for multiple comparisons. Nonparametric data were analyzed using a Friedman test followed by Dunn’s multiple comparisons test, and Wilcoxon signed-rank test with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.


      There were no differences within or between treatments for ST, fR and auditory response. TT was significantly higher at 30–90 minutes in Dex–P (p ≤ 0.0285) than baseline. TT was significantly higher at 60–90 minutes for Dex–P than for Dex–IM (p ≤ 0.0252). HR was significantly lower at 10–75 minutes in Dex–P (p ≤ 0.0378) and at 5–75 minutes in Dex–IM (p ≤ 0.0132) than baseline. Compared with baseline, sedation scores were higher at 25 minutes (p = 0.0327) and 30 minutes (p = 0.0327), and muscle relaxation scores were higher at 25 minutes (p = 0.0151) and 35 minutes (p = 0.0151) in Dex–P. There were no differences in HR, sedation and muscle relaxation scores between treatments.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      Dex–P increased thermal antinociception compared with Dex–IM at the same dose of dexmedetomidine in cats. This antinociceptive effect must be evaluated under clinical situations.


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