Rolf, N., A. Meissner, H. VanAken, T. P. Weber, D. Hammel and T. Mollhoff. The effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia on functional recovery from myocardial stunning in propofol-anesthetized dogs. Anesthesia And Analgesia. 84:723-729, 1997.

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) on myocardial stunning during propofol anesthesia. Six dogs were chronically instrumented for measurement of left atrial, aortic, and left ventricular pressure, maximal rate of increase of left ventricular pressure, and myocardial wall-thickening fraction (WTF). Myocardial blood flow was determined with colored microspheres. Experiments were performed on separate days with 1) 10 min of left anterior descending artery (LAD) ischemia during propofol anesthesia without TEA, and 2) 10 min of LAD ischemia during propofol anesthesia with TEA. WTF was measured as baseline (BL) prior to propofol anesthesia and at predetermined time points until complete recovery from stunning. Propofol anesthesia caused a significant decrease of WTF in the LAD-perfused myocardium (LAD-WTF) compared to BL in awake animals. LAD ischemia led to a further significant decrease of LAD-WTF. There were no significant differences in LAD-WTF between the two experimental conditions at any of the time points measured. TEA did not change subendocardial blood flow in nonischemic myocardium. During ischemia neither the subendocardial/subepicardial nor the occluded/normal zone blood flow ratio were affected by TEA. After myocardial ischemia during propofol anesthesia TEA does not affect functional recovery of stunned myocardium in dogs.