Voltage changes in the lithium dilution cardiac output sensor after exposure to blood from horses given xylazine

T. D. Ambrisko, Y. Moens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BackgroundIn a previous in vitro study using saline medium, the authors showed that certain drugs changed the voltages of lithium dilution cardiac output (LiDCO) sensors and also influenced their accuracy in measuring lithium concentrations. These two parameters correlated and so we examined whether such drug-sensor interaction exists when LiDCO sensor was exposed to xylazine in blood.MethodsFive healthy adult warm-blood horses were injected with 0.5 mg kg-1 xylazine i.v. Physiological saline solution and venous blood were consecutively sampled through the same LiDCO sensor at 60, 45, 30, 15, and 0 min before and then 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min after xylazine injection. Sensor voltages were recorded and the differences between saline- and blood-exposed sensor voltages were compared at each time point.ResultsSaline-exposed sensor voltages continuously increased in a non-linear pattern during the experiment. Blood-exposed sensor voltages also increased in a similar pattern, but it was interrupted by an abrupt increase in voltage after xylazine injection. The differences between saline- and blood-exposed sensor voltages were 7 (6.1-8) mV [median (range)] before xylazine but decreased significantly at 5 and 15 min after xylazine treatment. The highest drug-induced voltage change was 3.4 (1.6-7) mV.ConclusionsThis study showed that exposure of a LiDCO sensor to blood after a single clinically relevant dose of xylazine in horses changed the voltages of the sensors for 15 min. Comparison of saline- and blood-exposed sensor voltages could become a tool to detect drug-sensor interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-369
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • anaesthesia, veterinary
  • analgesic techniques, infusion
  • horses
  • measurement techniques, cardiac output

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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