Sensitivity to vecuronium in myasthenia gravis: a dose-response study

James B. Eisenkraft, W. Jeffrey Book, Angelos E. Papatestas

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61 Scopus citations


A cumulative dose plus infusion technique and integrated EMG monitoring of the first dorsal interosseous muscle were used to determine the potency of vecuronium in 20 normal patients and in ten patients with myasthenia gravis under thiamylal, N2O, O2, fentanyl anaesthesia. The mean (± SEM) values for ED50, ED90, and ED95 in the normal patients were 19 ± 1, 31 ± 1 and 36 ± 2 μg · kg- 1, respectively. Myasthenic patients showed increased sensitivity to vecuronium, the mean values for ED50, ED90, and ED95 were 10 ± 2, 17 ± 2 and 20 ± 3 μg · kg- 1, being50, 55 and 56 per cent of normal, respectively. We did not demonstrate a difference in sensitivity to vecuronium between those myasthenic patients who received pyridostigmine preoperatively and those who did not, nor among those chronically treated with corticosteroids, compared with those who were not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1990


  • complications: myasthenia gravis
  • measurement techniques: electromyography, neuromuscular blockade
  • neuromuscular relaxants: vecuronium


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