ABSTRACT: We report a case of a 35-year-old woman with myotonic dystrophy and severe obesity of BMI 43.3 who showed persistent apnea at emergence after ovarian resection. The patient received an iv induction with minimum dose of propofol and vecuronium 3 mg. Anesthesia was maintained with propofol, 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen mixture and epidural anesthesia. Additional vecuronium 0.5 mg was administered twice. Surgery was performed uneventfully within 130 minutes and iv propofol was discontinued. The patient awoke promptly after termination of nitrous oxide but no spontaneous breathing appeared with end-tidal CO2 of 60 mmHg. Because she could obey the order to breathe, the endotracheal tube was removed 40 minutes after discontinuation of propofol. Spontaneous breathing at the rate of 17 x min(-1) started soon after extubation. We assume that this apnea was caused by breath holding. Whether this breath holding is specific to myotonic dystrophy or not, anesthesia for patients with this disease requires careful attention for perioperative respiratory management.
Masui. The Japanese journal of anesthesiology 07/2005; 54(6):662-4.