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We studied the neuromuscular and cardiovascular effects of a single, rapidly administered intravenous dose of cisatracurium 0.15 mg·kg−1 in 27 infants (aged 1-23 months) and 24 children (aged 2-12.5 years). After midazolam premedication, anaesthesia was induced and maintained with thiopental and alfentanil in addition to nitrous oxide in oxygen. Neuromuscular function was monitored by evoked adductor pollicis electromyography. At least 15 min after intubation, each patient received cisatracurium 0.15 mg·kg−1 over 5 s. Complete neuromuscular blockade was produced by this dose in all but one infant. The mean (SD) onset time of maximal blockade was more rapid in infants [2.0 (0.8) min] than in children [3.0 (1.2) min], p = 0.0011. The clinical duration of action of cisatracurium (recovery of evoked response to 25% of control) was significantly longer in infants [43.3 (6.2) min] than in children [36.0 (5.4) min], p < 0.0001. Once neuromuscular function started to recover, the rate of recovery was similar in both age groups. Changes in blood pressure and heart rate after the administration of cisatracurium were negligible in both age groups. Cisatracurium, at a dose of 0.15 mg·kg−1, was effective and well tolerated in infants and children.