Background: The increase in intraocular pressure in the human eye that is associated with the use of intravenous succinylcholine has long been ascribed to contraction of the extraocular muscles leading to compression of the globe. This created concern that such contraction would extrude global contents in the patient with an open globe, and led clinicians to avoid the use of succinylcholine in these patients.
Methods: The authors studied 15 patients undergoing elective enucleation, and compared the intraocular pressure change after the administration of succinylcholine in the diseased eye after all the extraocular muscles had been detached to that of the normal eye that had the extraocular muscles attached.
Results: The authors found no difference in baseline intraocular pressure (mmHg) between eyes (15.1 vs. 16.1) or at peak intraocular pressure (25.2 vs. 24.7), but did observe a significant difference in pressure in both eyes when baseline was compared with peak pressure.
Conclusions: The authors concluded that extraocular muscle contraction does not contribute to the increase in intraocular pressure after succinylcholine.