Magnesium sulphate: an adjuvant to tracheal intubation without muscle relaxation—a randomised study

Younes Aissaoui, Youssef Qamous, Issam Serghini, Mohammed Zoubir, Jaafar Lalaoui Salim, Mohammed Boughalem
European Journal of Anaesthesiology 2012, 29 (8): 391-7

CONTEXT: Tracheal intubation without administration of a neuromuscular blocking drug is used frequently in anaesthesia. Several techniques and adjuvants have been tried to improve intubating conditions. Magnesium sulphate is an agent with analgesic, anaesthetic and muscle relaxant effects.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of magnesium sulphate on intubating conditions after induction of anaesthesia without a neuromuscular blocking drug.

DESIGN: Double-blinded randomised study.

PATIENTS: Sixty patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status 1/2 scheduled for elective surgery under general anaesthesia were included.

SETTING: Avicenna Military Hospital between June 2010 and March 2011.

INTERVENTIONS: Before induction of general anaesthesia, patients were assigned to receive either a 10-min infusion of magnesium sulphate 45 mg kg(-1) in 100 ml of isotonic saline (magnesium group, n = 30) or the same volume of saline (control group, n = 30). Anaesthesia was induced with fentanyl 3 μg kg(-1) followed 3 min later by propofol 2.5 mg kg(-1).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intubating conditions were evaluated by a blinded anaesthesiologist using the criteria of the Copenhagen consensus conference: ease of laryngoscopy, vocal cord position and/or movement and response to intubation or cuff inflation (cough or diaphragmatic movement). Intubating conditions were considered as acceptable (excellent or good) or unacceptable (poor). Mean arterial pressure and heart rate were also recorded during the study period.

RESULTS: The two groups were comparable in their demographic profiles. Clinically acceptable intubating conditions were observed more frequently in the magnesium group than in the control group: 25 (83%) vs. 18 patients (60%) (P = 0.042). There was no failed intubation. There were no differences between the groups with regard to haemodynamic variables.

CONCLUSION: Addition of magnesium sulphate to propofol and fentanyl at induction of anaesthesia significantly improved intubating conditions without administration of a neuromuscular blocking drug.

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