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

Clinical pharmacokinetics of cisatracurium besilate.

Cisatracurium besilate, one of the 10 stereoisomers that comprise atracurium besilate, is a nondepolarising neuromuscular blocking agent with an intermediate duration of action. Following a 5- to 10-sec intravenous bolus dose of cisatracurium besilate to healthy young adult surgical patients, elderly patients and patients with renal or hepatic failure, the concentration versus time profile of cisatracurium besilate is best characterised by a 2-compartment model. The volume of distribution (Vd) of cisatracurium besilate is small because of its relatively large molecular weight and high polarity. Cisatracurium besilate undergoes Hofmann elimination, a process dependent on pH and temperature. Unlike atracurium besilate, cisatracurium besilate does not appear to be degraded directly by ester hydrolysis. Hofmann elimination, an organ independent elimination pathway, occurs in plasma and tissue, and is responsible for approximately 77% of the overall elimination of cisatracurium besilate. The total body clearance (CL), steady-state Vd and elimination half-life of cisatracurium besilate in patients with normal organ function are approximately 0.28 L/h/kg (4.7 ml/min/kg), 0.145 L/kg and 25 minutes, respectively. The magnitude of interpatient variability in the CL of cisatracurium besilate is low (16%), a finding consistent with the strict physiological control of the factors that effect the Hofmann elimination of cisatracurium besilate (i.e. temperature and pH). There is a unique relationship between plasma clearance and Vd because the primary elimination pathway for cisatracurium besilate is not dependent on organ function. There are minor differences in the pharmacokinetics of cisatracurium besilate in various patient populations. These differences are not associated with clinically significant differences in the recovery profile of cisatracurium besilate, but may be associated with differences in the time to onset of neuromuscular block.[1]


  1. Clinical pharmacokinetics of cisatracurium besilate. Kisor, D.F., Schmith, V.D. Clinical pharmacokinetics. (1999) [Pubmed]
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