Effects of constant rate infusions of dexmedetomidine, remifentanil and their combination on minimum alveolar concentration of sevoflurane in dogs

Published:April 17, 2020DOI:



      To evaluate the effects of constant rate infusions (CRIs) of dexmedetomidine and remifentanil alone and their combination on minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of sevoflurane in dogs.

      Study design

      Randomized crossover experimental study.


      A total of six (three males, three females) healthy, adult neutered Beagle dogs weighing 12.6 ± 1.4 kg.


      Anesthesia was induced with sevoflurane in oxygen until endotracheal intubation was possible and anesthesia maintained with sevoflurane using positive-pressure ventilation. Each dog was anesthetized five times and was administered each of the following treatments: saline (1 mL kg–1 hour–1) or dexmedetomidine at 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 or 5.0 μg kg–1 loading dose intravenously over 10 minutes followed by CRI at 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 or 5.0 μg kg–1 hour–1, respectively. Following 60 minutes of CRI, sevoflurane MAC was determined in duplicate using an electrical stimulus (50 V, 50 Hz, 10 ms). Then, CRI of successively increasing doses of remifentanil (0.15, 0.60 and 2.40 μg kg–1 minute–1) was added to each treatment. MAC was also determined after 30 minutes equilibration at each remifentanil dose. Isobolographic analysis determined interaction from the predicted doses required for a 50% MAC reduction (ED50) with remifentanil, dexmedetomidine and remifentanil combined with dexmedetomidine, with the exception of dexmedetomidine 5.0 μg kg–1 hour–1, obtained using log-linear regression analysis.


      The sevoflurane MAC decreased dose-dependently with increasing infusion rates of dexmedetomidine and remifentanil. Remifentanil ED50 values were lower when combined with dexmedetomidine than those obtained during saline–remifentanil. Synergistic interactions between dexmedetomidine and remifentanil for MAC reduction occurred with dexmedetomidine at 0.5 and 1.0 μg kg–1 hour–1.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      Combined CRIs of dexmedetomidine and remifentanil synergistically resulted in sevoflurane MAC reduction. The combination of dexmedetomidine and remifentanil effectively reduced the requirement of sevoflurane during anesthesia in dogs.


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