Neuromuscular block monitoring after the administration of 1 mg/kg intravenous cis-atracurium in the anaesthetized pig

J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jan;42(1):67-73. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12707. Epub 2018 Aug 20.


Neuromuscular blocking agents should be included as part of a balanced anaesthetic protocol to improve anaesthetic management, although doses are not always established for each species. Cis-atracurium is a benzylisoquinolinium neuromuscular blocking agent with an intermediate duration of action devoid of significant adverse effects previously used in pigs with a wide dosage range. Cis-atracurium was administered at 1 mg/kg bolus to sixteen pigs to establish its time profile and effects. The pigs were premedicated intramuscularly with 4 mg/kg azaperone, 8 mg/kg ketamine and 0.2 mg/kg morphine IM and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. After cis-atracurium administration, neuromuscular monitoring via acceleromyography was started until the recovery of the 90% of the train of four ratio. Complete decrease in the train of four ratio was accomplished in eleven pigs. Onset of action was 70 s, with a recovery of the fourth twitch at 26 min and a recovery of a train of four ratio greater than 90% in 60 min. In conclusion, 1 mg/kg intravenous cis-atracurium in the pig allowed for a rapid onset of action and a complete recovery after 60 min although high variability in the time profile is seen.

Keywords: Cis-atracurium; monitoring; neuromuscular blockade; swine.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / methods
  • Anesthesia / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Atracurium / administration & dosage
  • Atracurium / analogs & derivatives*
  • Atracurium / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Electromyography / veterinary
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Injections, Intravenous / veterinary
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / methods
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / veterinary
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuromuscular Monitoring / veterinary*
  • Swine


  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
  • Atracurium
  • cisatracurium