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Br J Anaesth. 2003 Apr;90(4):480-6.

Monitoring of neuromuscular block after administration of vecuronium in patients with diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Hikarigaoka 1, Fukushima-City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan.



We studied the supramaximal current for ulnar nerve stimulation during electromyographic monitoring of onset and recovery of neuromuscular block using a neuromuscular transmission module (M-NMT Module, Datex-Ohmeda) in patients with Type 2 diabetes undergoing anaesthesia with nitrous oxide, oxygen, isoflurane and fentanyl.


Thirty-six diabetic patients were randomly assigned to a post-tetanic count (PTC) group (n=17) or train-of-four (TOF) group (n=19). In addition, 30 non-diabetic patients were divided into control PTC (n=15) and TOF groups (n=15).


In the diabetic patients (diabetes PTC and diabetes TOF groups), the mean supramaximal stimulating current was significantly higher than in the non-diabetic patients (control PTC and TOF groups) (50.5 (SD 14.1) vs 33.4 (6.1) mA, P<0.01). Onset of neuromuscular block (time to disappearance of T1) after vecuronium 0.1 mg kg(-1) in the diabetic patients did not differ significantly from that in the non-diabetic patients (276 (77) vs 244 (44) s, P=0.055). Time to return of PTC1 did not differ significantly between the diabetes and control PTC groups (21.0 (12.1) vs 15.7 (5.0) min, P=0.126). Times to return of T1 and T4 in the diabetes TOF group were significantly longer than in the control TOF group (T1: 37.5 (15.2) vs 25.7 (7.6) min, P=0.01; T4: 61.4 (23.7) vs 43.5 (11.4) min, P=0.01). During recovery, PTC and T4/T1 in the diabetes PTC and TOF groups were similar to those in the control PTC and TOF groups, respectively. T1/T0 in the diabetes TOF group was significantly less than in the control TOF group, 80-120 min after vecuronium (P<0.05).


In diabetic patients, supramaximal current is higher than in non-diabetic patients. After vecuronium, onset of neuromuscular block and recovery of PTC or T4/T1 are not altered, but time to return of T1 or T4, and recovery of T1/T0 are delayed in diabetic patients.

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