OBJECTIVE: To determine the cardiorespiratory effects of an i.v. infusion of propofol alone or in association with fentanyl, alfentanil, or sufentanil in cats and, for each combination, the minimal infusion rate of propofol that would inhibit a response to noxious stimuli. DESIGN: Randomized crossover study. ANIMALS: 6 cats. PROCEDURE: Cats were anesthetized 4 times in random order. After i.v. administration of fentanyl, alfentanil, sufentanil, or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, anesthesia was induced with propofol (7 mg/kg 13.2 mg/lb], i.v.) and maintained for 90 minutes with a continuous infusion of propofol in conjunction with fentanyl (0.1 microg/kg/min [0.045 microg/lb/min]), alfentanil (0.5 microg/kg/min [0.23 microg/lb/min]), sufentanil (0.01 microg/kg/min [0.004 microg/lb/min]), or saline solution (0.08 mL/kg/min [0.036 mL/lb/min]). RESULTS: Minimal infusion rate of propofol required to prevent a response to a noxious stimulus was higher when cats received saline solution. After 70 minutes, minimal infusion rate of propofol was significantly higher with fentanyl than with sufentanil. Decreases in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, rectal temperature, and respiratory rate were detected with all treatments. Oxygen saturation did not change significantly, but end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide increased with all treatments. There were no significant differences in recovery times or sedation and recovery scores among treatments. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that infusion of propofol in combination with fentanyl, alfentanil, or sufentanil results in satisfactory anesthesia in cats.
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