Spontaneous recovery from neuromuscular block after a single dose of a muscle relaxant in pediatric patients: A systematic review using a network meta-analytic and meta-regression approach

Luc E. Vanlinthout*, Jacques J. Driessen, Robert Jan Stolker, Emmanuel M. Lesaffre, Johan M. Berghmans, Lonneke M. Staals

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: 

Age-related differences in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) and the short duration of many surgical procedures put pediatric patients at risk of postoperative residual curarization (PORC). To date, the duration of neuromuscular blocking agent effect in children has not been analyzed in a quantitative review. The current meta-analysis aimed to compare spontaneous recovery following administration of various types and doses of neuromuscular blocking agents and to quantify the effect of prognostic variables associated with the recovery time in pediatric patients. 

Method: 

We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) that compared the time to 25% T1 (t25), from 25% to 75% T1 (RI25–75), and to ≥90% train-of-four (tTOF90) neuromuscular recovery between common neuromuscular blocking agent treatments administered as a single bolus to healthy pediatric participants. We compared spontaneous t25, RI25-75, and tTOF90 between (1) neuromuscular blocking agent treatments and (2) age groups receiving a given neuromuscular blocking agent intervention and anesthesia technique. Bayesian random-effects network and pairwise meta-analyses along with meta-regression were used to evaluate the results. 

Results: 

We used data from 71 randomized controlled trials/controlled clinical trials including 4319 participants. Network meta-analysis allowed for the juxtaposition and ranking of spontaneous t25, RI25-75, and tTOF90 following common neuromuscular blocking agent interventions. For all neuromuscular blocking agents a log-linear relationship between dose and duration of action was found. With the neuromuscular blocking agent treatments studied, the average tTOF90 (mean[CrI95]) in children (>2–11 y) was 41.96 [14.35, 69.50] and 17.06 [5.99, 28.30] min shorter than in neonates (<28 d) and infants (28 d–12 M), respectively. We found a negative log-linear correlation between age and duration of neuromuscular blocking agent effect. The difference in the tTOF90 (mean[CrI95]) between children and other age groups increased by 21.66 [8.82, 34.53] min with the use of aminosteroid neuromuscular blocking agents and by 24.73 [7.92, 41.43] min with the addition of sevoflurane/isoflurane for anesthesia maintenance. 

Conclusions: 

The times to neuromuscular recovery are highly variable. These can decrease significantly with age and are prolonged when volatile anesthetics are administered. This variability, combined with the short duration of many pediatric surgical procedures, makes quantitative neuromuscular monitoring mandatory even after a single dose of neuromuscular blocking agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-733
Number of pages14
JournalPaediatric Anaesthesia
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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