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Sertraline-induced pseudocholinesterase enzyme deficiency

Authors Zencirci B

Published 16 November 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 375—378

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S14365

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Beyazit Zencirci
MOSTAS Private Health Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, Kahramanmaras, Turkey

Abstract: A 47-year-old Turkish male was scheduled for laparoscopic cholecystectomy under general anesthesia. The patient had 2 operations 28 and 19 years ago under general anesthesia. It was learned that the patient was administered succinylcholine during both of these previous operations and that he did not have a history of prolonged recovery or postoperative apnea. The patient had been using sertraline for 3 years before the operation. Pseudocholinesterase is a drug-metabolizing enzyme responsible for hydrolysis of the muscle-relaxant drugs mivacurium and succinylcholine. Deficiency of this enzyme from any cause can lead to prolonged apnea and paralysis following administration of mivacurium and succinylcholine. The diagnosis of pseudocholinesterase enzyme deficiency can be made after careful clinic supervision and peripheral nerve stimulator monitoring. A decrease in the activity of pseudocholinesterase enzyme and a decline in the block effect over time will help verify the diagnosis. Our patient’s plasma cholinesterase was found to have low activity. Instead of pharmacological interventions that may further complicate the situation in such cases, the preferred course of action should be to wait until the block effect declines with the help of sedation and mechanical ventilation. In our case, the prolonged block deteriorated in the course of time before any complications developed.

Keywords: mivacurium, pseudocholinesterase deficiency, sertraline

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