Cardiovascular function, pulmonary gas exchange and tissue oxygenation in isoflurane-anesthetized, mechanically ventilated Beagle dogs with four levels of positive end-expiratory pressure.

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To compare pulmonary gas exchange, tissue oxygenation and cardiovascular effects of four levels of end-expiratory pressure: no positive end-expiratory pressure (ZEEP), positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of maximal respiratory system compliance (PEEPmaxCrs), PEEPmaxCrs + 2 cmH2O (PEEPmaxCrs+2), PEEPmaxCrs + 4 cmH2O (PEEPmaxCrs+4), in isoflurane-anesthetized dogs.

Study design

Prospective randomized crossover study.


A total of seven healthy male Beagle dogs, aged 1 year and weighing 10.2 ± 0.7 kg (mean ± standard deviation).


The dogs were administered acepromazine and anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane. Ventilation was controlled for 4 hours with ZEEP, PEEPmaxCrs, PEEPmaxCrs+2 or PEEPmaxCrs+4. Cardiovascular, pulmonary gas exchange and tissue oxygenation data were evaluated at 5, 60, 120, 180 and 240 minutes of ventilation and compared using a mixed-model anova followed by Bonferroni test. p < 0.05 was considered significant.


Cardiac index (CI) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were lower in all PEEP treatments at 5 minutes when compared with ZEEP. CI persisted lower throughout the 4 hours only in PEEPmaxCrs+4 with the lowest CI at 5 minutes (2.15 ± 0.70 versus 3.45 ± 0.94 L minute-1 m-2). At 180 and 240 minutes, MAP was lower in PEEPmaxCrs+4 than in PEEPmaxCrs, with the lowest value at 180 minutes (58 ± 7 versus 67 ± 7 mmHg). Oxygen delivery index (DO2I) was lower in PEEPmaxCrs+4 than in ZEEP at 5, 60, 120 and 180 minutes. Venous admixture was not different among treatments.

Conclusion and clinical relevance

The use of PEEP caused a transient decrease in MAP and CI in lung-healthy dogs anesthetized with isoflurane, which improved after 60 minutes of ventilation in all levels of PEEP except PEEPmaxCrs+4. A clinically significant improvement in arterial oxygenation and DO2I was not observed with PEEPmaxCrs and PEEPmaxCrs+2 in comparison with ZEEP, whereas PEEPmaxCrs+4 decreased DO2I.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia

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