Reversal of Neuromuscular Blockade with Sugammadex at the Reappearance of Four Twitches to Train-of-four Stimulation

* Staff Anesthesiologist, † Resident, ‡ Professor and Head, § Titular Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 5.88). 05/2013; 119(1). DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318297ce95
Source: PubMed


Doses of sugammadex required to reverse deep, moderate, and shallow rocuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade have been established. However, no adequate doses for the reversal of reappearance of four twitches of train-of-four (TOF) stimulation (threshold TOF-count-four) have been established.

This single-center, randomized, controlled, double-blind, four-groups parallel-arm study included 80 patients undergoing general anesthesia with propofol, sevoflurane, fentanyl, and rocuronium. Neuromuscular monitoring was performed with calibrated acceleromyography. Once rocuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade recovered spontaneously to threshold TOF-count-four, patients randomly received 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mg/kg of sugammadex or 0.05 mg/kg of neostigmine. The time between study drug injection and reversal of TOF ratios to 1.0 was measured. Rapid reversal (≤2.0 min average, upper limit of 5.0 min) was the primary endpoint and slower reversal (≤5.0 min average, upper limit of 10 min) was the secondary endpoint of the study.

Sugammadex, in doses of 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg, reversed threshold TOF-count-four to TOF ratios of 1.0 in 2.1±0.8 min (mean±SD) and 1.8±0.9 min, respectively. Sugammadex, 0.5 mg/kg, induced a similar degree of reversal in 4.1±1.9 min (P<0.001 vs. 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg). Neostigmine, 0.05 mg/kg, reversed TOF ratios to 1.0 in 8.5±3.5 min (P<0.001 vs. sugammadex groups).

Sugammadex, 1.0 mg/kg, rapidly and effectively reverses rocuronium-induced block that has recovered spontaneously to a threshold TOF-count-four. A dose of 0.5 mg/kg was equally effective, but satisfactory antagonism took as long as 8 min to take place.

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  • Anesthesiology 05/2013; 119(1). DOI:10.1097/ALN.0b013e318297cdda · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sugammadex is the first clinical representative of a new class of drugs called selective relaxant binding agents. It has revolutionized the way anesthesiologists think about drug reversal. Sugammadex selectively binds rocuronium or vecuronium, thereby reversing their neuromuscular blocking action. Due to its 1:1 binding of rocuronium or vecuronium, it is able to reverse any depth of neuromuscular block. So far, it has been approved for use in adult patients and for pediatric patients over 2 years. Since its approval in Europe, Japan, and Australia, further insight on its use in special patient populations and specific diseases have become available. Due to its pharmacodynamic profile, sugammadex, in combination with rocuronium, may have the potential to displace succinylcholine as the "gold standard" muscle relaxant for rapid sequence induction. The use of rocuronium or vecuronium, with the potential of reverse of their action with sugammadex, seems to be safe in patients with impaired neuromuscular transmission, ie, neuromuscular diseases, including myasthenia gravis. Data from long-term use of sugammadex is not yet available. Evidence suggesting an economic advantage of using sugammadex and justifying its relatively high cost for an anesthesia-related drug, is missing.
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