Comparison of alfaxalone versus propofol as anaesthetic induction agents in increasing the rate of survival and vigour of neonates



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PICO question

In routine canine caesareans, is alfaxalone a superior anaesthetic induction agent than propofol in increasing the rate of survival and vigour of neonates?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Three randomised positive clinical trials have compared the efficacy between alfaxalone and propofol in routine canine caesarean sections for increased neonatal survival and vigour

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

Although two studies found alfaxalone to be associated with higher Apgar scores for neonates than propofol, each study nonetheless revealed positive vigour and high survival rates from the use of either alfaxalone or propofol. The evidence is too weak to suggest that one induction agent is superior to another. The selection between the two induction agents may not be the main concern in regard to neonatal depression and 24 hour survival post-delivery, provided that the entire canine caesarean protocol is thoroughly and carefully studied


The evidence is too weak to suggest that alfaxolone or propofol is superior to another during canine cesareans. There is no signifcant difference seen in neonatal survival rate and vigour when using either alfaxolone or propofol


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


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Vol. 6 No. 2 (2021): The second issue of 2021

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  /  Exotics  /