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Anesthesiology. 1992 Jan;76(1):34-8.

Accelographic train-of-four at near-threshold currents.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Connecticut 06510.


The authors evaluated train-of-four (TOF) fade, as quantified by accelography, in response to neurostimulation at currents ranging from 10 to 60 mA. This was done to determine the range of currents over which measurements of fade remain consistent. In 31 patients (ASA Physical Status 1,2, and 3), anesthesia was induced with fentanyl, midazolam, and thiopental and was maintained with isoflurane and 66% nitrous oxide in oxygen. Surface stimulating electrodes were placed over the ulnar nerve, and an acceleration transducer was placed on the thumb. Succinylcholine was administered to facilitate tracheal intubation; after neuromuscular recovery, a bolus of vecuronium (0.01-0.05 and an infusion (0.25-1.5 were administered. After documentation of a stable TOF ratio, accelographic TOF responses were quantified in response to 200-microseconds stimulation at 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 mA, in random order. A total of 95 data sets were collected at different depths of blockade. The TOF ratios maintained intercurrent consistency (P = not significant by nonparametric repeated measures analysis of variance), except at currents near the fourth-twitch (T4) threshold current. This inconsistency was eliminated by testing at greater than or equal to 10 mA above threshold. TOF ratios obtained at 10 mA above T4 threshold correlated highly with those at 60 mA (Spearman r value = 0.94). The authors conclude that the TOF ratio is consistent over a wide range of stimulating currents and that testing with submaximal currents can be performed reliably at greater than or equal to 10 mA above the T4 threshold.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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