Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockade does not alter sensory evoked potentials

Tod B. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective. The objective of this study was to determine whether changes in nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockade (NMB) alter the latency or amplitude of visual, brain stem auditory, or median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials. Methods. Ten adult cynomologous Macaca fascicularis monkeys were studied during continuous ketamine anesthesia infusion. The NMB was incrementally adjusted between no block and complete block using infusions of vecuronium or atracurium. The NMB was measured by observing the mechanical response of the hand muscles to train-of-four stimulation of the median nerve and by quantification of the peak-to-peak electromyographic activity of the thenar muscles to supramaximal median nerve stimulation. The following variables were measured: the latencies of the three major peaks of the brain stem auditory evoked potential, the latency and amplitude of the cortical visual evoked potential, the latency of the spinal cord response, and the latency and amplitude of the cortical median nerve somatosensory evoked response. Results. No statistically significant changes were observed for any evoked response variable measured at any degree of NMB when compared with values obtained in the unblocked control state. Conclusions. The results suggest that fluctuating degrees of NMB may contribute little to changes in these evoked potentials during intraoperative monitoring, given the testing parameters used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • brain stem auditory
  • evoked potentials
  • Measurement techniques
  • Monitoring
  • neuromuscular blockade
  • somatosensory
  • visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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