Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 978–978 | Cite as

Continuous rocuronium administration for tracheomalacia

  • Takeshi Yano
  • Masahiko Taniguchi
  • Isao Tsuneyoshi
Letter to the Editor


Mechanical Ventilation Compute Tomography Imaging Airway Obstruction Rocuronium Abdominal Muscle 
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To the Editor:

We describe two cases associated with incidences of life-threatening hypoxemia due to tracheomalacia that were repressed by rocuronium. Case 1: A 6-month-old female was admitted to hospital due to cyanosis. Most of the severe hypoxic episodes were life threatening and required cardiac massage during mechanical ventilation. Exacerbation of the airway obstruction with contraction of the thoracic and abdominal muscles was observed during computed tomography imaging (see Fig. S1). We decided on continuous intravenous administration of 5–8 µg/kg/min of rocuronium to prevent further cyanotic episodes. After rocuronium administration, no additional life-threatening events occurred. Case 2: A 4-month-old female with a history of severe hypoxic episodes due to tracheomalacia was admitted to hospital. In accordance with our experience in case 1, we decided to administer continuous intravenous administration of rocuronium. No subsequent airway complications occurred after rocuronium was started. In both cases, rocuronium were reduced after tracheostomy. Mechanical ventilation was continued and planned to be maintained even after discharge from the hospital.

Symptoms may be exacerbated by activities that increase a child’s respiratory efforts, including coughing and crying, which can increase intrathoracic pressure until the extraluminal pressure exceeds the intraluminal pressure, and the trachea collapses [1]. Hypoxic episodes might be prevented by reducing the increase of intrathoracic pressure due to intercostal and abdominal muscle contraction during coughing and crying, as in our cases. In conclusion, we recommend using rocuronium for ventilated patients as a pharmacological support for the prevention of life-threatening hypoxic episodes due to severe tracheomalacia.


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Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 2 (PPTX 632 kb)


  1. 1.
    Carden KA, Boiselle PM, Waltz DA, Ernst A. Tracheomalacia and tracheobronchomalacia in children and adults: an in-depth review. Chest. 2005;127:984–1005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Yano
    • 1
  • Masahiko Taniguchi
    • 1
  • Isao Tsuneyoshi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MiyazakiKiyotakeJapan

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