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Am J Primatol



Menstrual cycles in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are unaffected by a single dose of the anesthetics ketamine and xylazine administered during the midfollicular phase at laparoscopy.


To identify an anesthetic regimen that produces more complete relaxation and analgesia than ketamine hydrochloride (Ketaset®) alone, a combination of ketamine (15 mg/kg body weight) and the hypnotic xylazine (Rompun®, 0.33 mg/kg) was evaluated. Since the desired experimental application required that the anesthetic not interfere with normal hormonal events during the menstrual cycle, this combination administered on day 6 of the cycle was tested to determine whether hormonal surges, incidence of ovulation, or cycle length would be altered relative to the use of ketamine alone. In five of six animals, ketamine plus xylazine had no effect on the occurrence of timely surges of estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), or on ovulation as determined by the presence of a corpus luteum at laparoscopy and normal serum concentrations of progesterone. There were no significant differences between the cycle during treatment and previous cycles in the same animal for length of the menstrual cycle (26.0 ± 2.3 [5] days; X̄ ± S.D. [n] or luteal phase (13.4 ± 2.4 [5] days). Likewise, these values did not differ from those of ten control monkeys treated with ketumine only on day 5 or 6 of the cycle (incidence of ovulation, 10/10; cycle length, 27.9 ± 1.8 [10]; luteal phase length, 15.1 ± 1.4 [10], P > 0.05). Patterns of circulating progesterone were not altered by the addition of xylazine anesthesia. These findings indicate that xylazine, given in the midfollicular phase, did not alter ovulatory events or menstrual cycle characteristics in rhesus monkeys. Ketamine plus xylazine apparently provides anesthesia appropriate for laparoscopy.