Noninvasive assessment of fluid responsiveness for emergency abdominal surgery in dogs with pulmonary hypertension: Insights into high-risk companion animal anesthesia

PLoS One. 2020 Oct 23;15(10):e0241234. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241234. eCollection 2020.


Objective: Optimizing cardiac stroke volume during high-risk surgical anesthesia is of particular interest with regard to a therapeutic target to reduce the incidence of postoperative complications. However, intensive fluid management in critically ill small animals with pulmonary hypertension (PH) has been empirically performed, and thus it can be challenging. Stroke volume variation (SVV) has been used as a dynamic preload predictor of fluid responsiveness. We hypothesized that if SVV exhibited robust reliability in the setting of hemodynamically unstable condition, it would provide more precise information on fluid resuscitation to translate it into veterinary anesthesia. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate the utility of SVV measured by the electrical velocimetry (EV) method for predicting fluid responsiveness in dogs with PH.

Methods: Sixteen dogs undergoing emergency abdominal surgery and diagnosed with PH secondary to myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) on preoperative transthoracic echocardiogram were included. Dogs were randomly assigned to 2 groups with and without inotropic cardiac support with dobutamine. Hemodynamic measurements including stroke volume and SVV derived from the EV device were performed under general anesthesia before (baseline) and after surgery (fluid challenge with a colloid solution defined by a SV increase of ≥ 10%).

Results: In both groups, SVV elevated significantly after abdominal surgery compared with baseline. In dobutamine infused group, the SVV values decreased significantly after fluid challenge (P < 0.05) with a greater number of responders than saline infused control group (P < 0.01). Receiver operating curve analysis of SVV confirmed high positive predictive value for dogs during dobutamine infusion (P < 0.05; cut-off value of 15%; specificity 90%, sensitivity 82%).

Conclusions: Noninvasive EV monitoring may be useful for the prediction of fluid responsiveness in critically ill dogs with left-sided heart failure-related PH. This normalization of dynamic preload indices, which could be achieved more precisely under inotropic support, may prevent further detrimental consequence of fluid loading.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery*
  • Anesthesia*
  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / surgery*
  • Dogs
  • Emergency Treatment*
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / veterinary*
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Volume
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.