Vecuronium neuromuscular blockade reflects liver function during hepatic autotransplantation in pigs.


BACKGROUND:Rapid assessment of hepatic function early after reperfusion of the liver graft is of great importance, because it may allow for prompt detection of incipient hepatic graft failure. The current study was undertaken to determine whether the continuous recording of neuromuscular transmission could be used as an on-line assessment of hepatic function during liver transplantation when a muscle relaxant with high hepatic uptake is used. METHODS:We quantified and compared the effect of liver exclusion and graft reperfusion on the level of vecuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade in nine pigs studied twice within 3 days. During the 1st day (control session), an intravenous infusion of vecuronium was administered to maintain a constant 90-95% twitch depression during 180 min. The twitch response was then allowed to recover spontaneously to 75% of its prerelaxant value. Neuromuscular transmission was continuously measured on the right anterior leg using an acceleration transducer. During the same time period, the metabolic rate of 14C-labeled aminopyrine (a well-established quantitative test of the liver microsomal function) was determined by measuring the excretion of 14CO2 in expired air after administration of an intravenous bolus of 14C-labeled aminopyrine. Two days later, the pigs underwent a hepatic autotransplantation, during which vecuronium was administered to maintain a constant 90-95% twitch depression. After reperfusion of the liver graft, the vecuronium infusion rate was maintained at its anhepatic level, and the recovery index of the neuromuscular blockade (the time from 25% to 75% recovery of twitch height) was calculated. The aminopyrine breath test was performed during the last 30 min of the anhepatic phase, and during 3 h after reperfusion of the liver graft. RESULTS:During control studies, the mean infusion rate of vecuronium was 1.30 +/- 0.33 and the recovery index was 3.4 +/- 0.5 min. During liver dissection, the infusion rate of vecuronium was similar to the control value (1.18 +/- 0.16, then considerably decreased to 0.05 +/- 0.03 during the anhepatic phase. After reperfusion of the liver graft, the recovery index was markedly prolonged to 35.5 +/- 15.8 min, indicating a prolongation of the recovery of neuromuscular blockade by a factor of 10.4. Excretion of 14CO2 was equal to zero during the anhepatic phase and then increased to 0.19 +/- 0.11% during the 1st h after reperfusion of the liver graft, an excretion rate corresponding to 11.2% of control conditions. The relationship between individual changes in the recovery index of the neuromuscular blockade and 14CO2 excretion in expired air after reperfusion of the liver graft showed a strong significant correlation (r2 = 0.71). CONCLUSIONS:These results indicate that, compared with the control studies, there is a similar decrease in the recovery rate of vecuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade and in the metabolic rate of 14C-labeled aminopyrine during the progressive recovery of hepatic function immediately after unclamping of the liver vessels. Metabolism of 14C-labeled aminopyrine increased progressively during the reperfusion phase. Therefore, recording of neuromuscular transmission during liver transplantation could serve as a continuous and easy to perform assessment of liver graft function provided that a muscle relaxant with a high hepatic uptake is used for neuromuscular blockade.






Pittet JF,Morel DR,Mentha G,Schopfer C,Belenger J,Benakis A,Tassonyi E




Has Abstract


1994-07-01 00:00:00












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