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2020 03 01

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci



Continuous Rate Infusion of Ketamine Hydrochloride and Dexmedetomidine for Maintenance of Anesthesia during Laryngotracheal Surgery in New Zealand White Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).



New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are an established in vivo model for the study of structural and functional consequences of vocal-fold vibration. Research design requires invasive laryngotracheal procedures, and the presence of laryngospasms or pain responses (or both) hinder phonation-related data collection. Published anesthesia regimens report respiratory depression and muscle tone changes and have been unsuccessful in mitigating autonomic laryngeal responses in our protocol. Infusion of ketamine hydrochloride and dexmedetomidine hydrochloride in pediatric medicine provides effective analgesia and sedation for laryngotracheal procedures including intubation and bronchoscopy; however, data evaluating the use of ketamine-dexmedetomidine infusion in rabbits are unavailable. This study reports a new infusion regimen,which was used in 58 male New Zealand white rabbits that underwent a nonsurvival laryngotracheal procedure to induce phonotraumatic vocal-fold injury. Animals were sedated by using ketamine hydrochloride (20 mg/kg IM) and dexmedetomidine(0.125 mg/kg IM). Maintenance anesthesia was provided by using continuous rate intravenous infusion of ketamine hydrochloride (343 μg/kg/min) and dexmedetomidine (1.60 μg/kg/min). A stable plane of anesthesia with no autonomiclaryngeal response (laryngospasm) was achieved in 32 of the 58 rabbits (55%). Laryngospasms occurred in 25 of 58 animals(43%) and were controlled in 20 cases (80%) by providing 0.33 mL 2% topical lidocaine, incremental increase in infusion rate,or both. Continuous rate infusion of ketamine hydrochloride-dexmedetomidine with prophylactic topical lidocaine providesa predictable and adjustable surgical plane of anesthesia, with minimal confounding respiratory and autonomic laryngealresponses, during extended-duration laryngotracheal surgery in rabbits. This regimen should be considered as an alternativeto injection maintenance for prolonged, invasive procedures.