Reversal of the residual effect of rocuronium or cisatracurium by neostigmine may be slow and associated with side-effects. This randomized, safety-assessor-blinded study compared the efficacy of sugammadex, a selective relaxant binding agent for reversal of rocuronium-induced neuromuscular block, with that of neostigmine for reversal of cisatracurium-induced neuromuscular block. The safety of sugammadex and neostigmine was also evaluated.
Adult surgical patients (ASA class I-III) were randomized to sugammadex 2.0 mg kg(-1) for reversal of block induced by rocuronium 0.6 mg kg(-1), or neostigmine 50 microg kg(-1) for reversal of block induced by cisatracurium 0.15 mg kg(-1). Anaesthesia was induced and maintained using i.v. propofol and remifentanil, fentanyl, or sufentanil. Neuromuscular function was monitored using acceleromyography (TOF-Watch SX). Sugammadex or neostigmine was administered at reappearance of T(2). The primary efficacy variable was time for recovery of the train-of-four (TOF) ratio to 0.9.
Eighty-four patients were randomized, 73 of whom received sugammadex (n=34) or neostigmine (n=39). Time from start of administration of reversal agent to recovery of the TOF ratio to 0.9 was 4.7 times faster with sugammadex than with neostigmine (geometric mean=1.9 vs 9.0 min, P<0.0001). Reversal of block was sustained in all patients. There were no serious adverse effects from either reversal agent and no significant changes in any measure of safety, except for similar elevations in urinary N-acetyl glucosaminidase in both groups.
Sugammadex 2.0 mg kg(-1) administered at reappearance of T(2) was significantly faster in reversing rocuronium-induced blockade than neostigmine was in reversing cisatracurium-induced block.