The effects of propofol and sufentanil on cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic balance were studied, in order to evaluate if sufentanil plays a role in this balance. The heart rate variability of 12 adult dogs was assessed, after premedication with acepromazine and anesthetized with propofol and three different doses of sufentanil, ranging from 0.025 to 0.1µg/kg/min. Electrocardiograms were recorded 15 minutes after premedication and 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after anesthetic induction. Heart rate variability was calculated in frequency domain through the analysis of 10 consecutive RR intervals. Results showed an absence of important changes in heart rate variability, although a significant decrease in heart rate was observed.
dog; intravenous anesthesia; opioids; parasympathetic tone; heart rate