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

Pseudocholinesterase-mediated hydrolysis is superior to neostigmine for reversal of mivacurium-induced paralysis in vitro.

BACKGROUND: The metabolic hydrolysis of mivacurium (and succinylcholine) is markedly impaired in the presence of hereditary or acquired defects of pseudocholinesterase. Clinical reports are conflicting as to the utility of anticholinesterases, in the reversal of mivacurium paralysis. In the current study, the role of exogenous cholinesterases and/or of anticholinesterase, neostigmine, in the reversal of deep mivacurium-induced paralysis, was studied. The rat phrenic-diaphragm preparation, in a fixed volume of Krebs solution, was chosen to eliminate the confounding effects on the dissipation of neuromuscular effects caused by hydrolysis, elimination, and redistribution of the drug. METHODS: In the phrenic-diaphragm preparation, mivacurium was administered to obtain >90% single twitch inhibition. Single twitch responses (0.1 Hz) were monitored for 60 min, after which the response to train-of-four stimulation was tested. The reversal of mivacurium by 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 units/ml of (true) acetylcholinesterase, bovine pseudocholinesterase, or human plasma cholinesterase and by neostigmine, 0.1, 1.0, or 10.0 micrograms/ml tested. The efficacy of human plasma cholinesterase, 1 unit/ml in combination with each of the above neostigmine concentrations, also was examined. The reversal of succinylcholine-induced paralysis by the acetylcholinesterase, bovine pseudocholinesterase, or human plasma cholinesterase (1 unit/ml) alone and in the presence of neostigmine (10.0 micrograms/ml) was additionally tested as a positive control. A train-of-four ratio > 0.75 was considered adequate reversal. RESULTS: Acetylcholinesterase was a poor hydrolyzer of mivacurium, as bioassayed by reversal of paralysis. Bovine pseudocholinesterase in concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 units/ml did not effectively reverse single twitch and train-of-four responses by 60 min, but bovine pseudocholinesterase (2 units/ml) and all concentrations of human plasma cholinesterase did. Neostigmine alone, tested at all concentrations, was an incomplete reversal drug. Clinical or therapeutic concentrations (0.1 and 1.0 micrograms/ml) of neostigmine did not, but pharmacologic concentrations (10 micrograms/ml) interfere with the efficacy of human plasma cholinesterase (1 unit/ml). Bovine pseudocholinesterase and human plasma cholinesterase equally reversed the effects of succinylcholine but acetylcholinesterase did not, whereas the addition of 10 micrograms/ml neostigmine to the enzymes inhibited the reversal of succinylcholine. CONCLUSIONS: Human plasma cholinesterase will reverse mivacurium more effectively than bovine pseudocholinesterase, but both will effectively reverse succinylcholine. Acetylcholinesterase has no effects on either relaxant. The anticholinesterase neostigmine was an incomplete reversal drug. Pharmacologic concentrations of anticholinesterases do, while clinical or therapeutic concentrations do not, completely inhibit the metabolic activity of pseudocholinesterases.[1]


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