A comparison of pipecuronium with pancuronium on haemodynamic variables and plasma catecholamines in coronary artery bypass patients

Peter P. Neidhart, Paul Champion, John Vogel, Elemer K. Zsigmond, Edömer Tassonyi

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Pipecuronium bromide, a new neuromuscular relaxant with steroidal structure, is devoid of effects on the autonomic nervous system and may be useful in patients where haemodynamic stability is mandatory. However, tracheal intubation may alter this haemodynamic profile. Therefore, we carried out a prospective double-blind study in 30 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery with the purpose (1) of determining if intubation influenced the haemodynamic stability in patients paralyzed with pipecuronium and (2) of comparing plasma catecholamine concentrations after pipecuronium with those after pancuronium. Thirty patients were randomized into two groups receiving either pipecuronium 100 μg·kg-1 or pancuronium 150 μg·kg-1 after induction of anaesthesia with midazolam and fentanyl. Haemodynamic variables and plasma catecholamines were measured before and after induction, after the muscle relaxant three times and twice after intubation. After anaesthesia induction decreases in heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and cardiac index (CI) were observed in both groups. These haemodynamic variables were unchanged after pipecuronium whereas after pancuronium HR increased from 53 ± 11 b · min-1 to 64 ± 9 b · min-1 after induction (P < 0.05) and CI from 2.5 ± 0.5 L · min-1 to 3.0 ± 0.8 L · min-1 (P < 0.05). Furthermore ECG signs of myocardial ischaemia appeared in four patients after pancuronium and the decay of plasma norepinephrine concentration was slower than with pipecuronium. We conclude that pipecuronium given after induction of anaesthesia is free of sympathomimetic or vagolytic activity and does not influence haemodynamic variables for up to ten minutes after tracheal intubation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-474
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1994


  • anaesthesia: cardiac
  • heart: stimulation, ischaemia
  • neuromuscular relaxants: pancuronium, pipecuronium
  • sympathetic nervous system: anaesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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