The Effect of Adenosine-induced Hypotension on Systemic and Splanchnic Hemodynamics during Halothane or Sevoflurane Anesthesia in the Rat

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Systemic and splanchnic hemodynamics were determined during the infusion of adenosine in 36 rats allocated randomly to one of three study groups: (1) awake, (2) halothane anesthesia (1.0 MAC), or (3) sevoflurane anesthesia (1.0 MAC). Adenosine was infused at a rate sufficient to decrease the mean arterial pressure by 35–38% from awake control values. Cardiac output and organ blood flows were measured using the radiolabeled microsphere technique.


Adenosine infusion produced stable hypotension of rapid onset due to a reduction in systemic vascular resistance. Stroke volume increased, but cardiac output remained unchanged in the awake and sevoflurane groups because of a decrease in heart rate. Infusion of adenosine during halothane anesthesia increased cardiac output enough to compensate for the decrease in cardiac output due to halothane alone. In the splanchnic circulation, there was an increase in portal tributary (42%, P < 0.01) and hepatic arterial (38%, P < 0.05) blood flows during adenosine infusion in awake rats. This resulted in an overall increase in total liver blood flow (42%, P < 0.01). Halothane anesthesia was associated with a decrease in portal tributary blood flow (28%, P < 0.05). In contrast, sevoflurane anesthesia was associated with an increase in hepatic arterial flow (35%, P < 0.05) but with no change in portal tributary blood flow. During halothane anesthesia, adenosine infusion increased portal tributary (90%, P < 0.01) and hepatic arterial (37%, P < 0.05) blood flows, thereby increasing total liver blood flow to values similar to those in awake adenosine infused rats. During sevoflurane anesthesia, adenosine infusion increased portal tributary blood flow (48%, P < 0.01), but hepatic arterial blood flow did not increase beyond the values observed during sevolfurane anesthesia alone.


These findings demonstrate that adenosine is a potent vasodilator of portal tributary and hepatic arterial vasculature in the rat and that the splanchnic hemodynamic effects of adenosine predominate over those of halothane and sevoflurane.

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