Neosaxitoxin, a Long-Lasting Local Anesthetic and its Potential Clinical Applications in Horses
Keywords:neosaxitoxin, NaV channels, equine, foot pain, welfare
Neosaxitoxin (NeoSTX) is a toxin that binds to the voltage-gated sodium channels therefore, inhibiting the neuronal impulse. The present study was conducted to explore the properties of NeoSTX and to evaluate its effects when injected as a perineural nerve block in horses. A group of five client-owned mature Warmblood horses exhibiting clinical signs of unilateral foot pain were enrolled in the study. For inclusion, lameness should subside after a palmar digital nerve block using 2 mL of 2% Lidocaine administered over the medial and lateral palmar digital nerves of the affected limb (day 0). Lameness was assessed using the AAEP scale and skin sensitivity was judged objectively using a pressure algometer. On day 1, 5µg of NeoSTX was injected. On day 4, 10µg of NeoSTX was administered. Lameness examination and skin sensitivity were evaluated at 3, 5,10, 15,30, 60, 90 minutes, and every hour until the effect of the injection wear off. When 10µg of NeoSTX was compared with lidocaine 2% the results showed no statistical differences in the onset of the anesthetic effect, measured as the time of start of desensitization of the skin and the time of complete desensitization or lameness resolution, nonetheless there was a significant difference in the return of skin sensation and lameness, showing a clear long-lasting nociceptive blocker effect of NeoSTX. In conclusion, this study suggest that NeoSTX can be used as a better alternative to conventional local anesthetics when a long-lasting effect is desired, for example as a part of a multimodal approach for pain management, as a local anesthetic for surgical procedures or to control chronic pain in some musculoskeletal diseases.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Cristóbal Dörner Santa María, Nestor Lagos Wilson, Miguel Del Campo Zaldívar
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