Neuromuscular function from vecuronium in dogs: Recovery of neuromuscular function is a gradual phenomenon whereby function progresses from absent to normal. The speed of spontaneous recovery can be used to predict the time when neuromuscular function is expected to be restored. However, the speed of recovery might be affected by the dose of the neuromuscular blocker administered, and by the dosing regimen of that dose.
The effects of both factors on the speed of spontaneous recovery from vecuronium were evaluated. Seven dogs were anesthetized three times and the train-of-four (TOF) ratio was measured with acceleromyography. Vecuronium was administered at 0.1 mg/kg, 0.2 mg/kg, or 0.1 mg/kg followed by two doses of 0.05 mg/kg was administered each time. In the divided-dose treatment group, aliquots were administered on return of the first twitch (T1) of the TOF from the previous dose. The duration of surgical block, from injection to return of T1, was longest for the divided-dose protocol, intermediate for 0.2 mg/kg single bolus, and shortest for 0.1 mg/kg (P < 0.0001).
The recovery period, from return of T1 to a TOF ratio ≥0.9, was longer for 0.2 mg/kg administered as a single bolus than for the other two groups (P = 0.007). Doubling the dose of a single bolus of vecuronium extended the time of surgical block and prolonged the duration of the recovery period. However, dividing that dose into smaller aliquots extended the period of surgical block while shortening the recovery period. Hence, the spontaneous reappearance of T1 should not be used in isolation to predict the time to complete recovery of neuromuscular function.
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