Effect of reducing inspired oxygen concentration on oxygenation parameters during general anaesthesia in horses in lateral or dorsal recumbency

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the effects of two concentrations of oxygen delivered to the anaesthetic breathing circuit on oxygenation in mechanically ventilated horses anaesthetised with isoflurane and positioned in dorsal or lateral recumbency.

Methods

Selected respiratory parameters and blood lactate were measured and oxygenation indices calculated, before and during general anaesthesia, in 24 laterally or dorsally recumbent horses. Horses were randomly assigned to receive 100% or 60% oxygen during anaesthesia. All horses were anaesthetised using the same protocol and intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) was commenced immediately following anaesthetic induction and endotracheal intubation. Arterial blood gas analysis was performed and oxygenation indices calculated before premedication, immediately after induction, at 10 and 45 min after the commencement of mechanical ventilation, and in recovery.

Results

During anaesthesia, the arterial partial pressure of oxygen was adequate in all horses, regardless of position of recumbency or the concentration of oxygen provided. At 10 and 45 min after commencing IPPV, the arterial partial pressure of oxygen was lower in horses in dorsal recumbency compared with those in lateral recumbency, irrespective of the concentration of oxygen supplied. Based on oxygenation indices, pulmonary function during general anaesthesia in horses placed in dorsal recumbency was more compromised than in horses in lateral recumbency, irrespective of the concentration of oxygen provided.

Conclusion

During general anaesthesia, using oxygen at a concentration of 60% instead of 100% maintains adequate arterial oxygenation in horses in dorsal or lateral recumbency. However, it will not reduce pulmonary function abnormalities induced by anaesthesia and recumbency.

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