Cardiovascular effects of propofol and of thiopentone anaesthesia in the sheep

W. B. Runciman, L. E. Mather, D. G. Selby

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We have examined the effects on the cardiovascular system and on regional blood flow of propofol and thiopentone when administered with IPPV (FlO2 0.4). A longitudinal study design was used in which 16 studies were performed in eight sheep for 30 min before, during the last 30 min of 70 min anaesthesia, and for 6 h after anaesthesia. During anaesthesia with propofol and thiopentone, mean total body oxygen consumption decreased, respectively, by 47% (P < 0.001) and 24% (P < 0.01) of pre-anaesthesia baseline values, mean heart rate increased by approximately 50% (P < 0.05) with both agents, mean arterial pressures increased by approximately 50% (P < 0.05) with both agents and the mean cardiac output was unaltered with propofol anaesthesia but was decreased by 20% (P < 0.05) with thiopentone anaesthesia. The changes in arterial pressure and heart rate were unexpected and may have been a result of a species-specific effect. Mean hepatic blood flow decreased consistently by a mean of 17% (P < 0.01) during propofol anaesthesia, and inconsistently during thiopentone anaesthesia so that it was not significantly different from baseline values. Mean renal blood flow decreased during propofol anaesthesia by 7% (P < 0.05) and by 27% (P < 0.001) during thiopentone anaesthesia. Whereas most variables returned to baseline values within 2 h after propofol anaesthesia, this took 5 h after thiopentone anaesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthetics, intravenous: propofol, thiopentone
  • Heart: mean arterial pressure, heart rate, cardiac output
  • Kidney: renal blood flow
  • Liver: hepatic blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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