In non-obese patients, duration of action of rocuronium is directly correlated with body mass index

Can J Anaesth. 2013 Jun;60(6):552-6. doi: 10.1007/s12630-013-9914-x. Epub 2013 Mar 6.


Background: Administration of neuromuscular blocking agents using a dose calculated on actual body weight carries a risk of prolonged duration of action in obese patients whose body mass index (BMI) is > 30 kg · m(-2). In the present study, we hypothesized that there could be a correlation between BMI and the duration of action of rocuronium administered according to actual body weight in non-obese patients, in particular, overweight (BMI 25-30 kg · m(-2)) and underweight patients (BMI < 18.5 kg · m(-2)).

Methods: Sixteen female patients (BMI 15-30 kg · m(-2), aged 45-60 yr) scheduled for elective surgery under total intravenous anesthesia were included in this study. Rocuronium 0.9 mg · kg(-1) was administered, and adductor pollicis train-of-four responses following ulnar nerve stimulation were monitored every minute with acceleromyography. The times from the injection of rocuronium until spontaneous recovery of first twitch to 5% (5% Duration) and 25% (25% Duration) of baseline were measured, and the correlation with BMI was analyzed.

Results: A significant correlation between 5% Duration and BMI (r(2) = 0.56; P < 0.001) was found by linear regression analysis. A significant correlation was also found between 25% Duration and BMI (r(2) = 0.49; P = 0.003).

Conclusion: In adult female patients with a BMI in the range of 15-30 kg · m(-2), the duration of action of rocuronium increases with BMI when the drug is administered on the basis of mg per actual kg body weight.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androstanols / administration & dosage*
  • Androstanols / pharmacology
  • Anesthesia Recovery Period
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / methods*
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Overweight
  • Rocuronium
  • Thinness
  • Time Factors


  • Androstanols
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents
  • Rocuronium