Skeletal muscle damage following halothane anaesthesia in the domestic fowl: plasma biochemical responses

Malcolm A Mitchell*, Dale A Sandercock, Richard R Hunter, Ailsa J Carlisle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of a short period (10 minutes) of halothane anaesthesia upon skeletal muscle have been examined in broiler chickens. Integrity of the muscle membrane was assessed by measurement of plasma activities of intracellular enzymes. Creatine kinase activity was greatly increased during the first 12 hours post-anaesthesia and remained elevated for at least 48 hours. Lactate dehydrogenase activity exhibited a similar pattern which was less pronounced. Halothane anaesthesia induced transient hypercapnic acidosis and hypokalemia and increased corticosterone secretion but there was no significant effect upon deep body temperature. It is proposed that halothane may act directly upon skeletal muscle, perhaps influencing intracellular calcium homeostasis, to alter membrane permeability and increase enzyme efflux reflecting a degree of post-anaesthetic muscle damage. The transient changes in electrolyte and acid-base balance may contribute to these effects. Precautions should be taken to minimise the incidence or extent of halothane induced myopathy in birds particularly in rapidly growing broiler chickens where susceptibility may be increased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-64
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPrint publication - 1999
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Skeletal muscle damage following halothane anaesthesia in the domestic fowl: plasma biochemical responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this