This study was designed to quantify the effects of incremental positive insufflation of the intrathoracic space on cardiac output (CO), heart rate (HR), arterial pressure (AP), central venous pressure (CVP), and percent saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen (SPO2) in anesthetized dogs. Seven healthy, adult dogs from terminal teaching laboratories were maintained under anesthesia with isoflurane delivered with a mechanical ventilator. The experimental variables were recorded before introduction of an intrathoracic catheter, at intrathoracic pressures (IP) of 0 mm Hg, 3 mm Hg insufflation, and additional increments of 1 mm Hg insufflation thereafter until the SPO2 remained <85% despite increases in minute volume. Finally the variables were measured again at 0 mm Hg IP. The cardiac output and systolic and diastolic AP significantly (P<0.05) decreased at 3 mm Hg IP. Significant decreases in SPO2 were seen at 10 mm Hg IP. Significant increase in CVP was noted at 6 mm Hg IP. Heart rate decreased significantly at 5 to 6 mm Hg IP but was not decreased above 6 mm Hg IP. Given the degree of CO decrease at low intrathoracic pressures, insufflation-aided thoracoscopy should be used with caution and at the lowest possible insufflation pressure. Standard anesthetic monitoring variables such as HR and AP measurements may not accurately reflect the animal’s cardiovascular status.

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