Background The aims of this study were evaluate cardiopulmonary, sedative and antinociceptive effects of dexmedetomidine–lidocaine combination via lumbosacral epidural injection in sheep.
Methods Six Santa Inês breed sheep, 16±6 months old and weighing 42.2 ± 5.7 kg were used. Sheep were subjected to epidural anaesthesia with three treatments: L, lidocaine (1.2 mg/kg), D, dexmedetomidine (2.5 μg/kg) or DL, dexmedetomidine plus lidocaine (2.5 μg/kg + 1.2 mg/kg). Drugs were injected via pre-placed lumbosacral epidural catheters. Cardiopulmonary, arterial blood gases, electrolytes, degree of sedation and antinociceptive aspects were measured before drug administration (T0) and then at 15, 30, 60 and 120 min after drug injection (T15–T120) in all treatments and at T0 to T240 in DL.
Results There were significantly increases in PaCO2 at times T60 and T120 in D, and at T30–T120 in DL, compared to baseline. The antinociceptive effects were observed up to 240 min in DL and 60 min in L, and were more intense in DL. Treatment D provided analgesia only in the perineal region, and only at T15.
Conclusion The combination of DEX with lidocaine produced similar cardiopulmonary changes compared with either drug alone, but with greater and more prolonged antinociceptive effects.
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