The effects of pentobarbital, fentanyl-droperidol, ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam on core and surface body temperature regulation in adult male rats.Lab Anim Sci. 1987 Dec; 37(6):743-9.LA
Many commonly used anesthetics cause hypothermia by inhibiting central and peripheral thermoregulatory mechanisms. Although it is probable that a loss of thermal homeostasis contributes directly to the high mortality frequently reported following anesthesia of laboratory rodents, this adverse effect has been investigated rarely in the past. This study compared the effects of three parenteral anesthetics (pentobarbital, ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam) and a neuroleptanalgesic (fentanyl-droperidol) on core and surface body temperature regulation in rats. Results showed a profound hypothermia with all dosages of pentobarbital, while ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam caused a dose-dependent depression in core and surface body temperature. All dosages of fentanyl-droperidol (Innovar-Vet) caused minimal depression in thermoregulation, suggesting that it is the drug which requires the least external thermal support. Results of this study also suggested that inability to compensate for heat loss, particularly from the body core, may profoundly influence anesthetic toxicity and the safety of anesthetic procedures.