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Type: Journal article
Title: Muscle weakness after muscle relaxants: An audit of clinical practice
Author: Alkhazrajy, W.
Khorasanee, A.
Russell, W.
Citation: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 2004; 32(2):256-259
Publisher: Australian Soc Anaesthetists
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0310-057X
Abstract: Residual muscle weakness after general anaesthesia, assessed using handgrip strength, was audited in a teaching hospital. The relationships between residual weakness, the use of muscle relaxants and patient characteristics were examined. Handgrip strength was measured preoperatively, one hour postoperatively and one day postoperatively using a hand dynamometer in 151 patients having general anaesthesia. Forty-nine patients received no muscle relaxant, 34 patients received vecuronium and 68 received rocuronium. Patients were managed by their anaesthetist according to that anaesthetist’s clinical choice. All patients who received muscle relaxants received neostigmine. One hour postoperatively, there was a decline in handgrip strength of 16% for the no relaxant group, 24% for vecuronium and 29% for rocuronium. The degree of weakness for the relaxant groups was unrelated to age (P=0.89) but was strongly influenced by the patient’s sex. Almost all of the increased weakness with relaxants was found in the female patients. The mean decline in handgrip strength in the male patients who received either vecuronium or rocuronium was similar to that seen when relaxants had not been used (P=0.40). One hour postoperatively, female patients showed a marked decrease in handgrip strength after both vecuronium and rocuronium (32% and 34% respectively, combined P=0.01). These results suggest that in usual clinical practice at our institution, female patients are more likely to have residual weakness after muscle relaxants.
Keywords: Humans; Muscle Weakness; Neostigmine; Androstanols; Vecuronium Bromide; Cholinesterase Inhibitors; Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents; Hand Strength; Anesthesia, General; Postoperative Period; Risk; Age Factors; Sex Factors; Time Factors; Medical Audit; Female; Male; Rocuronium
Description: Publisher's copy made available with the permission of the publisher © Australian Society of Anaesthetists
RMID: 0020040377
DOI: 10.1177/0310057X0403200216
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Appears in Collections:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care publications

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