OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of tramadol on sevoflurane minimum alveolar concentration (MAC(SEVO)) in dogs. It was hypothesized that tramadol would dose-dependently decrease MAC(SEVO). STUDY DESIGN: Randomized crossover experimental study. ANIMALS: Six healthy, adult female mixed-breed dogs (24.2 +/- 2.6 kg). METHODS: Each dog was studied on two occasions with a 7-day washout period. Anesthesia was induced using sevoflurane delivered via a mask. Baseline MAC (MAC(B)) was determined starting 45 minutes after tracheal intubation. A noxious stimulus (50 V, 50 Hz, 10 ms) was applied subcutaneously over the mid-humeral area. If purposeful movement occurred, the end-tidal sevoflurane was increased by 0.1%; otherwise, it was decreased by 0.1%, and the stimulus was re-applied after a 20-minute equilibration. After MAC(B) determination, dogs randomly received a tramadol loading dose of either 1.5 mg kg(-1) followed by a continuous rate infusion (CRI) of 1.3 mg kg(-1 )hour(-1) (T1) or 3 mg kg(-1) followed by a 2.6 mg kg(-1 )hour(-1) CRI (T2). Post-treatment MAC determination (MAC(T)) began 45 minutes after starting the CRI. Data were analyzed using a mixed model anova to determine the effect of treatment on percentage change in baseline MAC(SEVO) (p < 0.05). RESULTS: The MAC(B) values were 1.80 +/- 0.3 and 1.75 +/- 0.2 for T1 and T2, respectively, and did not differ significantly. MAC(T) decreased by 26 +/- 8% for T1 and 36 +/- 12% for T2. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the decrease between the two treatments. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Tramadol significantly reduced MAC(SEVO) but this was not dose dependent at the doses studied.
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