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Anaesthesia. 2012 Sep;67(9):991-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2012.07197.x. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

A randomised controlled trial comparing sugammadex and neostigmine at different depths of neuromuscular blockade in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology, Klinikum Ludwigsburg, Academic Teaching Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Ludwigsburg, Germany.


Deep neuromuscular blockade during certain surgical procedures may improve operating conditions. Sugammadex can be used to reverse deep neuromuscular blockade without waiting for spontaneous recovery. This randomised study compared recovery times from neuromuscular blockade induced by rocuronium 0.6, using sugammadex 4 administered at 1-2 post-tetanic count (deep blockade) or neostigmine 50 μ (plus atropine 10 μ administered at the re-appearance of the second twitch of a train-of-four stimulation (moderate blockade), in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery. The primary efficacy variable was the time from the start of sugammadex/neostigmine administration to recovery of the train-of-four ratio to 0.9. Patients receiving sugammadex recovered 3.4 times faster than patients receiving neostigmine (geometric mean (95% CI) recovery times of 2.4 (2.1-2.7) and 8.4 (7.2-9.8) min, respectively, p<0.0001). Moreover, 94% (62/66) of sugammadex-treated patients recovered within 5 min, vs 20% (13/65) of neostigmine-treated patients, despite the difference in the depth of neuromuscular blockade at the time of administration of both drugs. The ability to provide deep neuromuscular blockade throughout the procedure but still permit reversal at the end of surgery may enable improved surgical access and an enhanced visual field.

Anaesthesia © 2012 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

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