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September 14, 1970

Assessment of Recovery From Curare

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Anesthesiology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1970;213(11):1894-1896. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170370078019

The major hazard in the use of curare-like drugs in anesthesia is the failure to antagonize residual muscle weakness. We have shown that the head-raising test is not always a reliable index of curare recovery. On the other hand, a sustained muscular contraction in response to tetanic nerve stimulation could always be correlated with greater than 90% recovery in vital capacity and maximum voluntary ventilation. We recommend that in the event a patient cannot maintain a tetanic contracture, residual effects from the administration of curare should be treated with an anticholinesterase drug.