Plasma cholinesterase activity and tachyphylaxis during prolonged succinylcholine infusion

S. Delisle, M. Lebrun, D. Bevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fifteen patients were studied during general anesthesia (nitrous oxide-fentanyl, N = 7 or nitrous oxide-isoflurane, N = 8) to determine the relationship between plasma cholinesterase activity and succinylcholine requirements during prolonged infusion. Using train-of-four stimulation, neuromuscular block was maintained at 90% for at least 1 hour, and plasma cholinesterase was measured at 30-minute intervals. During the infusion, succinylcholine requirements increased in every patient (tachyphylaxis), but there was no significant change in plasma cholinesterase activity. Succinylcholine requirements during the 1st hour of infusion in patients given fentanyl were correlated with preinfusion cholinesterase activity. It is concluded that tachyphylaxis to succinylcholine is not the result of increased metabolism from enzyme induction and that succinylcholine requirement is related to plasma cholinesterase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-944
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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