Neuromuscular monitoring and postoperative residual curarisation: a meta-analysis

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Abstract

We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effect of intraoperative monitoring of neuromuscular function on the incidence of postoperative residual curarisation (PORC). PORC has been considered present when a patient has a train-of-four (TOF) ratio of < 0.7 or < 0.9. We analysed data from 24 trials (3375 patients) that were published between 1979 and 2005. We excluded data on mivacurium from this meta-analysis because only three studies had examined the incidence of PORC associated with its use. Long- and intermediate-acting neuromuscular blocking drugs had been given to 662 and 2713 patients, respectively. Neuromuscular function was monitored in 823 patients (24.4%). A simple peripheral nerve stimulator was used in 543 patients, and an objective monitor was used in 280. The incidence of PORC was found to be significantly lower after the use of intermediate neuromuscular blocking drugs. We could not demonstrate that the use of an intraoperative neuromuscular function monitor decreased the incidence of PORC.

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