Comparison of rocuronium and mivacurium to succinylcholine during outpatient laparoscopic surgery

J Tang, G P Joshi, P F White
Anesthesia and Analgesia 1996, 82 (5): 994-8
Tracheal intubating conditions and neuromuscular effects of succinylcholine, rocuronium, and mivacurium were studied in 100 healthy women undergoing outpatient laparoscopic surgery. After a standardized fentanyl-thiopental induction, tracheal intubation was facilitated with succinylcholine 1 mg/kg in Groups I (n = 23) and II (n = 25), rocuronium 0.6 mg/kg in Group III (n = 27), or mivacurium 0.2 mg/kg in Group IV (n = 25). If clinically indicated, bolus doses of rocuronium 5-10 mg (Groups I and III) or mivacurium 2-4 mg (Groups II and IV) were administered during the maintenance period. Anesthesia was maintained with desflurane and nitrous oxide 60% in oxygen. At the end of the surgery, residual neuromuscular block was reversed with edrophonium 0.5 mg/kg and atropine 10 micrograms/kg, if needed. The neuromuscular function was assessed using electromyography with a train-of-four mode of stimulation every 10 s at the wrist. Intubating conditions 90 s after succinylcholine and rocuronium were significantly better than after mivacurium. The onset time (from the end of injection until 95% suppression of the first twitch [T1]) for succinylcholine (63 +/- 21 s and 62 +/- 17 s in Groups I and II, respectively) were significantly shorter than for rocuronium (158 +/- 76 s) or mivacurium (210 +/- 93 s). Moreover, the onset times for rocuronium were significantly shorter than mivacurium. The recovery times (of T1 to 25% of the control value) were significantly shorter with succinylcholine and mivacurium than rocuronium. Significantly fewer patients needed reversal of residual neuromuscular blockade after mivacurium compared to rocuronium. One patient in Group I and six patients in Group IV displayed erythema on the upper body. Postoperative myalgia were experienced by 16% of the patients in Groups I and II compared to none in Groups III and IV. There was on difference in the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting among the four groups. In conclusion, rocuronium appears to be an acceptable alternative to succinylcholine for tracheal intubation. However, rocuronium's longer duration of action increases the need for reversal drugs. When rapid tracheal intubation is unnecessary, mivacurium is also an acceptable alternative to succinylcholine and is associated with a more rapid spontaneous recovery than rocuronium.

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