Urethral pressure response to smooth and skeletal muscle relaxants in anesthetized, adult male cats with naturally acquired urethral obstruction

Am J Vet Res. 1995 Jul;56(7):919-23.


The effects of the skeletal muscle-relaxing drug dantrolene sodium alone, and in combination with the alpha 1-adrenergic antagonist prazosin, on the urethral pressure profile were investigated in male cats with obstructive lower urinary tract disease. Decreases in mean segmental intraurethral pressure induced by dantrolene (n = 3) or dantrolene in combination with prazosin (n = 3) were evaluated statistically, using a paired design. Statistical analysis was applied to absolute (mm of Hg) pressure values. Intravenous administration of dantrolene alone (1 mg/kg of body weight, n = 3) significantly decreased pressure in the postprostatic/penile urethral segment, but did not decrease prostatic urethral pressures. Dantrolene in combination with prazosin (0.03 mg/kg IV) caused a 20% pressure decrease in the prostatic segment (P = 0.060). Preprostatic urethral pressure was not significantly affected by either treatment regimen in the small pool of cats studied. There was no difference in baseline pressures (mm of Hg) in the 3 intraurethral segments of these 6 recently obstructed male cats, compared with historic baseline pressures (mm of Hg) in the 3 intraurethral segments of 28 healthy male cats. These results indicate that dantrolene and prazosin may be effective in relaxing intraurethral skeletal and smooth musculature in male cats clinically afflicted with obstructive lower urinary tract disease. However, it is not certain that administration of muscle relaxants would facilitate urethral catheterization and removal of the obstruction in male cats with blockage of the lower urinary tract. Strikingly, results of this study suggest that urethral muscle spasm had a minor role in these cats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases*
  • Cats
  • Dantrolene / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology*
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Penis
  • Prazosin / pharmacology*
  • Pressure
  • Prostate
  • Urethra / drug effects
  • Urethra / physiopathology*
  • Urethral Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Urethral Obstruction / veterinary*


  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • Dantrolene
  • Prazosin