Isovolaemic haemodilution decreases the shivering threshold in rabbits

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Background and objective

The inhibition of thermoregulatory control by anaesthesia is manifested by reduced vasoconstriction and shivering thresholds. As intraoperative bleeding can result in haemodynamic changes, including vasoconstriction, we investigated the effect of experimental bleeding on the shivering threshold in rabbits.


Twenty-four rabbits were randomly assigned to one of three treatment strategies: (1) no blood removal (control), (2) 5 mL kg−1 isovolaemic blood removal and (3) 10 mL kg−1 isovolaemic blood removal. After tracheal intubation under isoflurane anaesthesia, anaesthesia was maintained with 50% nitrous oxide in oxygen. The removed blood volume was replaced with the same volume of warm hydroxyethyl starch colloid solution. Oesophageal temperature was measured as a core temperature at 1-min intervals. After blood removal, the animal's body was cooled at a rate of 2–3°C h−1 by perfusing water at 10°C through a U-shaped thermode positioned in the colon. Hypothermic shivering was evaluated by visual inspection, and the core temperature at which shivering was triggered was identified as the thermoregulatory threshold for this response.


Just before the cooling, the body temperature of the animals was around 38.6°C in all of the three groups. The shivering threshold in the control group was 37.2 ± 0.2°C (mean ± SD). The shivering thresholds in the 5 mL kg−1 (36.9° ± 0.3°C) and 10 mL kg−1 (36.5° ± 0.5°C) blood removal groups were significantly lower and in proportion with the volume of blood removed than that in the control group.


Isovolaemic haemodilution decreased the shivering threshold in rabbits in proportion with the volume of blood removed.

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