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Open Access Non-invasive Measurement of Blood Pressures in the Yucatan Micropig (Sus scrofa domestica), With and Without Midazolam-Induced Sedation

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Current literature suggests that the effects of midazolam, a water-soluble benzodiazepine, on blood pressure in swine are minimal. The hypothesis of the study reported here was that a light sedative dose would induce a decrease in blood pressure in this species. Healthy female Yucatan Micropigs (n = 20), 16 to 30 (mean, 22) kg, aged four six months, were individually placed in a humane restraint sling and allowed to acclimate. Systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), and mean (MBP) blood pressures (mmHg) and heart rate (HR; beats per min [bpm]) were measured by use of oscillometry. The pressure cuff was placed at the base of the tail, and five sets of values were recorded at five-min intervals, beginning at 10 and ending 30 min after cuff placement. Following a three- to four-day rest period, this procedure was repeated with the addition of a dose of 0.5 mg of midazolam HCl/kg of body weight given intramuscularly at the time of cuff placement. A paired one-way Student's t-test was used to compare the means of the five measures between control and midazolam treatment. Mean ( SD) differences for SBP, DBP, MBP, and HR were 18.9 (± 3.97), 17.8 (± 5.27), and 18.6 (± 5.09) mmHg and 20.7 (± 3.73) bpm, respectively. All four parameters were significantly reduced in the midazolam-sedated group (P < 0.001). The maximal decrease in SBP, DBP, and MBP occurred at 15 and 20 min after dosing. Mean values based on the means of the five measures were 128 (± 12.6), 80 (± 9.4), and 99 (± 9.2) mmHg and 135 (± 17.4) bpm, and 109 (± 15.4), 63 (± 12.6), and 80 (± 13.6) mmHg and 115 (± 15.5) bpm for SBP, DBP, MBP, and HR in the control (n = 20) and midazolam (n = 20) groups, respectively. The control values can serve as normal oscillometric values for this age, sex, and breed of Micropig. We conclude that midazolam, given intramuscularly at a sedative dosage, negatively affects cardiovascular parameters measured by use of a blood pressure cuff, in sexually mature female Micropigs, compared with values in untreated pigs, which is similar to reports for humans.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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