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Br J Anaesth. 2010 Nov;105(5):568-75. doi: 10.1093/bja/aeq270. Epub 2010 Oct 11.

Sugammadex for reversal of neuromuscular block after rapid sequence intubation: a systematic review and economic assessment.

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  • 1Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.


Sugammadex 16 mg kg⁻¹ can be used for the immediate reversal of neuromuscular block 3 min after administration of rocuronium and could be used in place of succinylcholine for emergency intubation. We have systematically reviewed the efficacy and cost-effectiveness and made an economic assessment of sugammadex for immediate reversal. The economic assessment investigated whether sugammadex appears cost-effective under various assumptions about the value of any reduction in recovery time with sugammadex, the likelihood of a 'can't intubate, can't ventilate' (CICV) event, the age of the patient, and the length of the procedure. Three trials were included in the efficacy review. Sugammadex administered 3 or 5 min after rocuronium produced markedly faster recovery than placebo or spontaneous recovery from succinylcholine-induced block. No published economic evaluations were found. Our economic analyses showed that sugammadex appears more cost-effective, where the value of any reduction in recovery time is greater, where the reduction in mortality compared with succinylcholine is greater, and where the patient is younger, for lower probabilities of a CICV event and for long procedures which do not require profound block throughout. Because of the lack of evidence, the value of some parameters remains unknown, which makes it difficult to provide a definitive assessment of the cost-effectiveness of sugammadex in practice. The use of sugammadex in combination with high-dose rocuronium is efficacious. Further research is needed to clarify key parameters in the analysis and to allow a fuller economic assessment.

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