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Ann Card Anaesth. 1999 Jul;2(2):44-7.

Sevoflurane for trans-sternal thymectomy in myasthenia gravis.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


Myasthenic gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease associated with acetylcholine receptor deficiency. Patients with MG exhibit increased sensitivity to non-depolarising muscle relaxants. In an attempt to avoid neuromuscular blockers, we used sevoflurane in two myasthenic patients undergoing trans-sternal thymectomy. Inhalation of 8% sevoflurane in oxygen using vital capacity technique produced rapid, pleasant and smooth induction and provided good tracheal intubating conditions. In both patients anaesthesia was maintained with 1.5-2% end-tidal concentration of sevoflurane and nitrous oxide in oxygen without adjunctive neuromuscular blocking agents. There were minimal changes in cardiovascular variables and recovery was faster. It is suggested that sevoflurane may be the main anaesthetic for both induction and maintenance in myasthenic patients undergoing trans-sternal thymectomy.

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