Sodium pentobarbital has been used as a representative anesthetic in the experimental system using the canine excised cross-circulated heart preparaton. In the present study, fentanyl was established as a new anesthetic in this experimental system. The mechanoenergetic effects of fentanyl on the excised heart were investigated by using the framework of Emax (the slope of the end-systolic pressure-volume relation), PVA (Pressure-volume area) and VO2 (left ventricle oxygen consumption per beat). To determine the effects of fentanyl on the support dog, the systemic arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and plasma catecholamine concentration were measured.
In the excised heart, fentanyl did not change the slope of the PVA-VO2 relation. This indicated that the cardiac mechanoenergetics was not qualitatively changed by fentanyl. In the support dog, fentanyl decreased the heart rate, but did not change the systemic arterial blood pressure. Fentanyl anesthesia is considered to be useful as an anesthetic for the experimantal system using the canine excised cross-circulated heart preparation.