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Doses of epinephrine causing arrhythmia during enflurane, methoxyflurane and halothane anaesthesia in dogs


The arrhythmogenic dosage of epinephrine, administered by constant intravenous infusion, was measured in five dogs during enflurane, methoxyflurane and halothane anaesthesia. While premature ventricular contractions were observed in only one of five dogs with enflurane and methoxyflurane, epinephrine-induced arrhythmias were seen in all animals during halothane anaesthesia. Epinephrine dosage and the resultant increase in mean arterial blood pressure at which arrhythmias occurred during halothane anaesthesia were significantly less (p < 0.05) than with the other anaesthetics. These observations indicate that enflurane and methoxyflurane, as compared to halothane, possess relatively less arrhythmogenic potential as sensitizing agents in the presence of increased circulating catecholamines.


Chez cinq chiens, nous avons calculé la dose arythmogénique d’épinéphrine en perfusion intra-veineuse au cours de l’anesthésie à l’enflurane, au méthoxyflurane et à l’halothane. Alors que des extrasystoles ventriculaires furent observées chez un seul des cinq chiens sous enflurane et sous méthoxyflurane, l’épinéphrine a provoqué des arythmies chez tous les chiens soumis à l’halothane. La dose d’épinéphrine et l’augmentation subséquente de la T.A. moyenne ayant provoqué des arythmies furent significativement moins élevées (p < 0.5) avec l’halothane qu’avec les autres agents. Ces observations démontrent que l’enflurane et le méthoxyflurane, comparativement à l’halothane, possèdent relativement moins de pouvoir arythmogénique en présence de catécholamines circulantes élevées.


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Correspondence to Edwin S. Munson or William K. Tucker.

Additional information

This work was supported in part by USPHS Grant GM00427-12. The research described in this report involved animals maintained in animal care facilities fully accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

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Munson, E.S., Tucker, W.K. Doses of epinephrine causing arrhythmia during enflurane, methoxyflurane and halothane anaesthesia in dogs. Canad. Anaesth. Soc. J. 22, 495–501 (1975).

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  • Epinephrine
  • Halothane
  • Enflurane
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Premature Ventricular Contraction