J Feline Med Surg. 2022 Nov 16:1098612X221131270. doi: 10.1177/1098612X221131270. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate, using echocardiography, the effects of oral administration of a single dose of gabapentin on the physiologic variables (heart rate [HR], respiratory rate [RR] and systolic blood pressure [SBP]) and systolic and diastolic cardiac function of healthy cats.
METHODS: This was a prospective, randomized and blinded study with 40 healthy cats aged between 6 months and 2 years. The cats’ health status was assessed on the first appointment (T1) when they underwent a physical examination, complete blood count, biochemical profile, assessment of physiologic variables and echocardiogram. The echocardiogram was used to measure the left ventricle’s (LV) internal diameter during systole and diastole, isovolumic relaxation time, transmitral flow, E-wave deceleration time and HR. The cats were randomly divided into two groups: (1) a treatment group with 20 cats that received a single oral dose of gabapentin (100 mg/cat); and (2) a control group with 20 cats that received a single oral dose of placebo. All variables of the physiologic and echocardiographic variables were re-evaluated 1-3 weeks after T1 (T2), 90 mins after medication or placebo administration.
RESULTS: There was no difference in the physiologic variables evaluated in both groups. The proportion of cats in the treatment group that had their ventricular filling waves fused on T1 but did not have them fused on T2 was significantly higher (45%) compared with cats in the control group (15%; P = 0.0384).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: There was no difference between the groups in regard to SBP, HR, RR and echocardiographic variables. Gabapentin improved evaluation of diastolic function on echocardiogram because it reduced the fusion of ventricular filling waves during the evaluation of the diastolic function of the LV. Gabapentin did not cause adverse effects on the cardiovascular hemodynamics of young healthy cats.