Acceleromyography in neonates and small infants: baseline calibration and recovery of the responses after neuromuscular blockade with rocuronium

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SummaryBackground:We have evaluated the use of the TOF-Guard® (TOF, train-of-four) acceleromyographic thumb responses to ulnar nerve stimulation in neonates and infants and the return of the responses after neuromuscular blockade.Methods:Baseline acceleromyographic recording of thumb adduction to ulnar nerve stimulation during volatile anaesthesia was performed in 22 babies aged less than 30 weeks. At the start of stimulation the automatic set-up procedure of the TOF-Guard® was used to see if a 100% control twitch height could be achieved. Irrespective of the ability to achieve a 100% control twitch height, TOF stimulation was used thereafter. When no automatic 100% control twitch could be reached, the transducer signal gain factor was set manually to obtain a 100% value. In 14 of the 22 children the recovery after neuromuscular blockade with rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 was recorded.Results:In nine of 22 patients a 100% baseline twitch height was obtained with the automatic set-up. In the other 13 babies the TOF-Guard® display indicated that the transducer signal was too low. The mean time to recovery of control twitch to 75% of baseline after rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 was 51 min (SD = 21) and the time to recovery of the TOF ratio to 70% was 49 min (SD = 19). The mean final twitch height and TOF after recovery from rocuronium blockade were 101% (SD = 15) and 92% (SD = 12), respectively.Conclusion:The recovery of the responses after neuromuscular blockade to near baseline values shows that acceleromyography can be used to measure neuromuscular block and recovery in neonates and infants.

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