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Occurrence of pulsus alternans during anaesthesia of two dogs and one cat and its treatment

Nicholls, D; Adami, C; Monticelli, P


D Nicholls

C Adami

P Monticelli


The authors report the occurrence of pulsus alternans, a condition characterised by the alternance of pulses of higher and lower amplitude, in two dogs and one cat under general anaesthesia. The presence of an underlying cardiac disease was confirmed in the cat but not in either dog, which – based on history and clinical findings – had presumably normal cardiovascular function before the anaesthetic. Possible mechanisms, including negative inotropy and haemodynamic and Frank‐Starling effects, as well as the role of general anaesthesia as the potential triggering factor, are discussed in this report. Ephedrine resulted in the successful treatment of pulsus alternans, as demonstrated by the return of normal pulse and synchronisation of heart and pulse rates in the cat and in one dog. In the other dog, pulse pattern and frequency returned to normal once the guidewire for central line placement was withdrawn.


Nicholls, D., Adami, C., & Monticelli, P. (2020). Occurrence of pulsus alternans during anaesthesia of two dogs and one cat and its treatment. Australian Veterinary Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2020
Publication Date Oct 19, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2020
Journal Australian Veterinary Journal
Print ISSN 0005-0423
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords General Veterinary, General Medicine
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