Quantitative Neuromuscular Monitoring and Postoperative Outcomes: A Narrative Review

Anesthesiology. 2022 Feb 1;136(2):345-361. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000004044.


Over the past five decades, quantitative neuromuscular monitoring devices have been used to examine the incidence of postoperative residual neuromuscular block in international clinical practices, and to determine their role in reducing the risk of residual neuromuscular block and associated adverse clinical outcomes. Several clinical trials and a recent meta-analysis have documented that the intraoperative application of quantitative monitoring significantly reduces the risk of residual neuromuscular blockade in the operating room and postanesthesia care unit. In addition, emerging data show that quantitative monitoring minimizes the risk of adverse clinical events, such as unplanned postoperative reintubations, hypoxemia, and postoperative episodes of airway obstruction associated with incomplete neuromuscular recovery, and may improve postoperative respiratory outcomes. Several international anesthesia societies have recommended that quantitative monitoring be performed whenever a neuromuscular blocking agent is administered. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the literature was performed to determine the potential benefits of quantitative monitoring in the perioperative setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / methods*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / trends
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / adverse effects
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / methods*
  • Neuromuscular Blockade / trends
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / adverse effects
  • Neuromuscular Monitoring / methods*
  • Neuromuscular Monitoring / trends
  • Postoperative Complications / chemically induced
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents