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Cardioversion of suspected vagally mediated atrial flutter using lidocaine in an anaesthetised dog
  1. Gianmarco Cornacchini1,
  2. Brigite Pedro2,
  3. Mike Martin3 and
  4. Alastair Mair4
  1. 1 Intern, Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Centre, Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2 Cardiology, Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Centre, Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  3. 3 Cardiology, Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  4. 4 Anaesthesia, Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Centre, Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alastair Mair; alastair.mair{at}


A 10-year-old male neutered English bull terrier was referred for investigation of sneezing and stertorous breathing. Upper airway assessment under general anaesthesia was scheduled, along with a CT scan, bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage. The anaesthetic protocol consisted of acepromazine and butorphanol for premedication, propofol for induction, and isoflurane for maintenance of anaesthesia. Laryngoscopy during induction of anaesthesia revealed paradoxical collapse of both arytenoid cartilages with complete closure of the rima glottidis during inspiration. During bronchoscopy an electrocardiogram was attached which revealed atrial flutter. Atrial flutter was converted using lidocaine into a marked respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Six days later the dog was readmitted for unilateral cricoarytenoid lateralisation. No intraoperative or postoperative complications were encountered. It was speculated that atrial flutter was vagally mediated and occurred acutely during laryngoscopy. If atrial flutter is considered to be vagally mediated, lidocaine may serve as a useful treatment.

  • Dogs
  • Ear, Nose And Throat (ent)
  • Anaesthesia
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  • Contributors Each of the listed authors contributed sufficiently in order to claim individual authorship. AM, BP and MM made substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data. GC contributed substantially to analysis and interpretation of data. AM, BP and GC participated in drafting the article. MM participated in revising it critically for important intellectual content. All authors gave final approval of the version to be submitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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