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October 3, 1959


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Anesthesiology and the Peripheral Vascular Service, Surgical Division, Montefiore Hospital.

JAMA. 1959;171(5):548-549. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010230001011

Succinylcholine (Anectine) chloride is a "depolarizing" type of muscle relaxant with action of rapid onset and short duration. It was synthesized in 1906 by Hunt and Taveau1; its effect on the neuromuscular junction was first described by Bovet and others2 in 1949. Since 1950 succinylcholine has had extensive clinical trial and has been administered to thousands of patients to produce muscular relaxation for surgery. Because of its controllability and lack of side-effects, this drug has almost replaced all other muscle relaxants in anesthesia. We have administered this drug to over 10,000 patients. The patient reported on below is the first who exhibited severe allergic skin manifestations with histamine release and circulatory collapse. As no similar observations have been published to our knowledge, the following case report is presented.

Report of a Case  A 61-year-old male was admitted with the diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The history revealed