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The influence of halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane on rocuronium infusion in children

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Rocuronium is a non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent with intermediate duration of action and without significant cumulative properties, suitable for continuous infusion. This study was designed to determine the infusion requirements in children under nitrous oxide and fentanyl, halothane, isoflurane or sevoflurane anaesthesia. Methods:

Forty children, 3–11 years old, ASA physical status group I or II were studied. They were randomly allocated to receive fentanyl-nitrous oxide, 1 MAC halothane-nitrous oxide, 1 MAC isoflurane-nitrous oxide or 1 MAC sevoflurane-nitrous oxide anaesthesia. Rocuronium, 0.6 mg−1 was used to facilitate endotracheal intubation. Electromyographic response of adductor pollicis to train-of-four (TOF) stimulation, 2 Hz for 2 s, applied to the ulnar nerve at 10-s intervals was recorded using Relaxograph (Datex, Helsinki, Finland). Once the first twitch response (T1) returned to 5%, muscle relaxation was maintained by continuous infusion of rocuronium, adjusted automatically in a closed-loop system to maintain a stable 90–99% T1 depression. The block was considered stable if it changed by no more than 2% over a 10-min observation period. Results:

Halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane groups had lower infusion requirements than the fentanyl-nitrous oxide group (P<0.00075). Rocuronium requirement (mean ± SD) at one hour from the commencement of anaesthesia was 16.7±2.3, 13.6±3.7, 13.1±5.1 and 8.4±1.6 μg · kg−1 · min−1 for children receiving fentanyl-nitrous oxide, halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane anaesthesia, respectively. Conclusions:

The rocuronium infusion rate required to maintain stable 90–99% T1 depression was reduced by approximately 20% with halothane and isoflurane anaesthesia, and by 50% with sevoflurane anaesthesia when compared to fentanyl-nitrous oxide anaesthesia. Significant patient-to-patient variability of infusion rate makes monitoring of neuromuscular transmission necessary.
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Keywords: Neuromuscular relaxants: rocuronium bromide; fentanyl; pharmacodynamics, infusion; volatile anesthetics: halothane, isoflurane, sevoflurane

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Memorial Children’s Health Institute, Warsaw, and 2: Department of Electronics and Information Systems, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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