Effects of some anesthetic agents on skin microcirculation evaluated by laser Doppler perfusion imaging in mice

Sara Gargiulo, Matteo Gramanzini, Raffaele Liuzzi, Adelaide Greco, Arturo Brunetti, Giancarlo Vesce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anesthetic agents alter microcirculation, influencing tissue oxygenation and delivery of vital substrates. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging is a widespread technique in the field of microvascular research that can evaluate noninvasively and in real time the effects of environmental conditions, physical manipulations, diseases and treatments on peripheral perfusion. This study aims to evaluate laser Doppler perfusion imaging as a means to detect changes in skin microcirculation induced by some popular anesthetic agents in a murine model. Twenty-four age- and gender-matched healthy CD1 mice were examined by laser Doppler perfusion imaging. The skin microcirculatory response was measured at the level of plantar surfaces during isoflurane anesthesia with or without subsequent dexmedetomidine or acepromazine. At the end of the procedure, dexmedetomidine was reversed by atipamezole administration. Results: In all mice, skin blood flow under isoflurane anesthesia did not show significant differences over time (P = 0.1). The serial perfusion pattern and values following acepromazine or dexmedetomidine administration differed significantly (P <0.05). Conclusions: We standardized a reliable laser Doppler perfusion imaging protocol to non-invasively assess changes in skin microcirculation induced by anesthesia in mice, considering the advantages and drawbacks of this technique and its translational value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 17 2013


  • Anesthesia
  • Laser Doppler perfusion imaging
  • Microvascular perfusion
  • Murine model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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