Postoperative residual curarization (PORC) may be a potential risk factor of postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs), and both of them will lead to adverse consequences on surgical patient recovery. The train-of-four ratio (TOFr) which is detected by acceleromyography of the adductor pollicis is thought as the gold standard for the measurement of PORC. However, diaphragm function recovery may differ from that of the peripheral muscles. Recent studies suggested that diaphragm ultrasonography may be useful to reveal the diaphragm function recovery, and similarly, lung ultrasound was reported for the assessment of PPCs in recent years as well. Sugammadex reversal of neuromuscular blockade is rapid and complete, and there appear to be fewer postoperative complications than with neostigmine. This study aims to compare the effects of neostigmine and sugammadex, on PORC and PPCs employing diaphragm and lung ultrasonography, respectively.
In this prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial, patients of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status I-III, aged over 60, will be enrolled. They will be scheduled to undergo arthroplasty under general anesthesia. All patients will be allocated randomly into two groups, group NEO (neostigmine) and group SUG (sugammadex), using these two drugs for reversing rocuronium. The primary outcome of the study is the incidence of PPCs in the NEO and SUG groups. The secondary outcomes are the evaluation of diaphragm ultrasonography and lung ultrasound, performed by an independent sonographer before anesthesia, and at 10 min and 30 min after extubation in the post-anesthesia care unit, respectively.
Elimination of PORC is a priority at the emergence of anesthesia, and it may be associated with reducing postoperative complications like PPCs. Sugammadex was reported to be superior to reverse neuromuscular blockade than neostigmine. Theoretically, complete recovery of neuromuscular function should be indicated by TOFr > 0.9. However, the diaphragm function recovery may not be the same matter, which probably harms pulmonary function. The hypothesis will be proposed that sugammadex is more beneficial than neostigmine to reduce the incidence of PPCs and strongly favorable for the recovery of diaphragm function in our study setting.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05040490 . Registered on 3 September 2021.

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