Objective: To evaluate whether the ultrashort-acting neuromuscular blocking agent gantacurium can be used to blunt evoked laryngospasm in anesthetized cats and to determine the duration of apnea without hemoglobin desaturation.
Animals: 8 healthy adult domestic shorthair cats.
Procedures: Each cat was anesthetized with dexmedetomidine and propofol, instrumented with a laryngeal mask, and allowed to breathe spontaneously (fraction of inspired oxygen, 1.0). The larynx was stimulated by spraying sterile water (0.3 mL) at the rima glottidis; a fiberscope placed in the laryngeal mask airway was used to detect evoked laryngospasm. Laryngeal stimulation was performed at baseline; after IV administration of gantacurium at doses of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 mg/kg; and after the effects of the last dose of gantacurium had terminated. Duration of apnea and hemoglobin oxygen saturation (measured by means of pulse oximetry) after each laryngeal stimulation were recorded. Neuromuscular block was monitored throughout the experiment by means of acceleromyography on a pelvic limb.
Results: Laryngospasm was elicited in all cats at baseline, after administration of 0.1mg of gantacurium/kg, and after the effects of the last dose of gantacurium had terminated. The 0.3 and 0.5 mg/kg doses of gantacurium abolished laryngospasm in 3 and 8 cats, respectively, and induced complete neuromuscular block measured at the pelvic limb; the mean ± SE duration of apnea was 2 ± 1 minutes and 3 ± 1.5 minutes, respectively. Hemoglobin oxygen saturation did not decrease significantly after administration of any dose of gantacurium.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Gantacurium may reduce tracheal intubation-associated morbidity in cats breathing oxygen.