Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study Clinical Trial
Review Meta Analysis
Abrishami et al.'s Cochrane review of 18 RCTs totalling 1,300 patients confirmed the superiority of sugammadex compared with neostigmine at all studied levels of blockade. They identified sugammadex dosing of:
- 2 mg/kg - for reversal of rocuronium neuromuscular blockade at TOF-T2 reappearance.
- 4 mg/kg - for reversal at post-tetanic count of 1 to 2.
- 16 mg/kg - for reversal 3 to 5 minutes after a rocuronium intubating dose.
Importantly there was similar frequency of adverse events compared to neostigmine (< 1%), although overall small sample sizes mean no conclusion can be made regarding rare serious adverse events.summary
Miller enthusiastically states:
“Sugammadex is likely the most exciting drug in clinical neuromuscular pharmacology since the introduction of atracurium and vecuronium in the middle 1980s.”
...and hints at where benefits may begin:
“Will sugammadex’s increased effectiveness, in comparison to neostigmine, lessen the need for or use of monitoring neuromuscular function?”
A cautionary summary of the benefits and potential risks of perineural dexamethasone.
"...there have been no reports of neurotoxicity or complications of any kind attributed to perineural dexamethasone in the nearly 700 patients who have received it in published studies of peripheral nerve blocks ... We must acknowledge that complications in regional anesthesia are rare, and 700 patients are woefully inadequate to declare dexamethasone safe for routine perineural use." (Noss 2014)
Noss concludes that:
- Perineural dexamethasone is probably safe, though conclusive safety evidence is still lacking.
- Systemic effects from IV dex is unlikely to explain the profound block prolongation.
- Prolongation is not enough on its own.
Review Case Reports Comparative Study
Despite frequent incidence of hypotension, no cases of stroke were observed in this audit of 4,169 shoulder surgeries performed in the beach-chair position. Notably though, 97% of the cases were performed under brachial plexus block with intravenous sedation rather than a general or relaxant technique.
The authors estimate the upper limit incidence of stroke in the sitting position under regional anaesthesia as 1 in 1,429 (0.07%).summary