Glucose was infused intravenously into six ponies during halothane anaesthesia, to evaluate its effect on their endocrine response to anaesthesia. The ponies were premedicated with acepromazine, and anaesthesia was induced with thiopentone and maintained with halothane in oxygen for two hours. Glucose was infused to maintain the plasma glucose concentration above 20 mmol/litre. Anaesthesia was associated with hypothermia, a decrease in haematocrit, hypotension, hyperoxaemia, respiratory acidosis and an increase in the plasma concentrations of lactate and arginine vasopressin. The concentration of β-endorphin in plasma increased transiently after 20 minutes but there were no changes in concentrations of adrenocorticotrophic hormone, dynorphin, cortisol or catecholamines. These data suggest that the glucose infusion attenuated the normal adrenal response of ponies to halothane anaesthesia.
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