Effects of an intravenous bolus of alfaxalone versus propofol on intraocular pressure in sheep

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The objective of this prospective study was to determine the effects of a single intravenous bolus of alfaxalone in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and propofol on the intraocular pressure (IOP) in sheep. Ten Ripollesa sheep with a bodyweight of 48.5 (6.8) kg (mean [sd]) were used in the study. Twenty-four hours before the experimental procedure, a complete ophthalmic examination was performed in all animals. The day of the study, intravenous alfaxalone (2 mg/kg) or propofol (6 mg/kg) was randomly administered in a cross-over design, with a washout period of two weeks. Measurements of IOP, globe position and pupil size were obtained at basal time, before induction (time 0) and at two, five, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after drug administration. Occasional side effects and time to standing were also noted. Intravenous administration of alfaxalone and propofol in sheep resulted in no alteration of IOP. Nevertheless, a decrease in the pupil size was observed in both groups. This present study shows that alfaxalone and propofol, administrated as a single intravenous bolus, are good options for maintaining IOP during anaesthesia in sheep, although marked miosis was observed after administration.

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