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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Acute desflurane or sevoflurane exposure on a previously stabilized atracurium-induced neuromuscular block.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of this prospective study was to compare the effect of the administration of desflurane or sevoflurane to a fixed neuromuscular block. METHODS: After written consent, 12 patients were anaesthetized with propofol and sufentanil. Atracurium was administered via a continuous infusion in order to obtain 85% twitch depression of the control value assessed by repeated accelerometric stimulation at the adductor pollicis. Once stabilized over the course of 30 min, propofol was discontinued and either desflurane (n = 6) or sevoflurane (n = 6) was delivered at 1 MAC in a mixture of 50% O(2) in air. Study parameters were the magnitude and the time of twitch height variations. Results are presented in mean +/- SD. RESULT: Exposure to halogenated agents led to a significant reduction in twitch height with similar magnitude between the two agents. However, interaction with desflurane showed an initial and transient rise (35 +/- 22%) in twitch height before subsequent depression occurred. The time to reach 50% of the signal depression in the desflurane group was significantly delayed (25 +/- 7 vs. 11 +/- 4 min in the sevoflurane group; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: On a stable neuromuscular block elicited by continuous infusion of atracurium, the abrupt administration of desflurane or sevoflurane reduces the accelerometric responses of the adductor pollicis in a similar way. This potentiating effect is produced faster after sevoflurane than after desflurane. With desflurane, a biphasic effect (of a transient and moderate increase followed by depression of the signal) was recorded.[1]


  1. Acute desflurane or sevoflurane exposure on a previously stabilized atracurium-induced neuromuscular block. Beaussier, M., Boughaba, A., Schiffer, E., Debaene, B., Lienhart, A., d'Hollander, A. European journal of anaesthesiology. (2006) [Pubmed]
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