Other Talks in the Series: Animal Models in Biomedical Research

Welcome to this anesthesia lecture inserted into the Animal Models in Biomedical Research Training Program. My name is Luis Antunes. And I work at University of Trias-os-Montes and Alto Douro.
What are the objectives of this lecture? The main objective use is to recognize why anesthesia is important in laboratory animal sciences, to identify the different the periods of anesthesia, to understand different anesthesia components, to identify different groups drugs, to identify what is the best practice in anesthesia in laboratory animal sciences with this lecture divided in two parts.
So what is general anesthesia? General anesthesia is a reversible intoxication process from the central nervous system. It is a state of unconsciousness with loss of protective reflexes. It is a state resulting from the administration of one or more agents. So having said this, we need to conclude that the optimal combination for any given animal and procedure needs to be selected. So it's the selection of several drugs that will give us the optimal combination for a certain procedure.
And we need to be aware that anesthesiologists have learned a lot in the last 100 years. So the evolution has been fantastic in the human field. And that has been translated into animals as well. So we need to be aware from the new developments to translate that to our patients, to our animals.
So why do we do anesthesia in laboratory animals? One of the reasons we all think to allow surgery, of course, to avoid stress responses and to control pain responses as well. So this is the main reasons to do anesthesia. Immobilization of animals is also an important issue, one of the reasons to do anesthesia. Or course, animals do not understand me. So I need to put them to sleep. This is a common problem, which in humans quite often we don't have that kind of problem. And of course, it's not because I need to have access to some drugs for recreation activities. And be careful with this, because actually, it's our responsibility to track and maintain records for all drugs being used in a lab animals facility. So we also have concerns regarding anesthesia. So our concerns in using anesthesia is because we have animal welfare concerns. We want to promote welfare. We want to control pain. And we do know that we are doing anesthesia because we have a potential need from surgery. And when we do this, what you want is to refine the procedures so we are working under the three Rs, under the refinement R. So we want to do the procedure better. But when we do anesthesia, we do know that there are potential artifacts by the anesthesia in the animal model. So things like depth of anesthesia and clinical responses need to be controlled to reduce the potential artifacts induced by anesthesia. If you put it all together, we have reasons and we have concerns. We need to weigh all those to come into solution, which is to propose an anesthesia protocol. So we need to weight advantages, disadvantages, concerns, and propose an anesthesia protocol.