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Monitoring of intense neuromuscular blockade in a pig model

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Intense neuromuscular blockade (NMB) measured by post tetanic count (PTC) was monitored, reversed and verified in this pig model. In a cross-over assessor blinded design six pigs were randomized to either no NMB followed by intense NMB, or intense NMB followed by no NMB. Neuromuscular measurements were performed with acceleromyography [train-of-four (TOF) Watch SX]. In all pigs, the response to TOF nerve stimulation was stable and intense NMB (PTC 0–1) was established with rocuronium 3 mg/kg. For reversal, the pigs received sugammadex 20–35 mg/kg and returned to TOF-ratio above 0.90 within 2.15 min after injection. We established a pig model for monitoring intense NMB with surface stimulation electrodes and acceleromyography. We verified total relaxation of the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles at the PTC 0–1 by suction test and with surface electromyography. This pig model is suitable for studies with experimental abdominal surgery with monitoring of intense NMB, and where relaxation of the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles are required.

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Conflict of interest

This study was supported in part by a Research Grant from the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Merck. Jacob Rosenberg and Mona Ring Gätke have received payments for lectures and travel funding from Merck.

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The Animal Experiments Inspectorate approved the study.

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Correspondence to Matias V. Madsen.

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Madsen, M.V., Donatsky, A.M., Jensen, B.R. et al. Monitoring of intense neuromuscular blockade in a pig model. J Clin Monit Comput 28, 351–355 (2014).

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