Heart Rate Changes Following the Administration of Sugammadex to Infants and Children With Comorbid Cardiac, Cardiovascular, and Congenital Heart Diseases

Jordan Arends, Richard Hubbard, Shabana Z. Shafy, Mohammed Hakim, Stephani S. Kim, Dmitry Tumin, Joseph D. Tobias


Background: Sugammadex is a novel, rapidly-acting pharmacologic agent to reverse steroidal neuromuscular blocking agents with demonstrated advantages over acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. However, anecdotal reports have noted rare instances of bradycardia and even cardiac arrest. The current study examined heart rate (HR) changes in infants and children with comorbid cardiac, cardiovascular, and congenital heart diseases.

Methods: Patients less than 18 years of age, who had a comorbid cardiac, cardiovascular, or congenital heart disease and were to receive sugammadex, were included in this prospective observational study. After sugammadex administration, HR was continuously monitored and recorded every minute for the first 15 min, and then every 5 min for the next 15 min or until the patient was transferred from the operating room. The primary outcome, bradycardia, was defined as HR below the fifth percentile for age. Secondary outcomes included greatest decrease in HR from baseline for each patient and interventions required for bradycardia.

Results: The study cohort included 99 patients (58 male and 41 female) with a median age of 3 years. Bradycardia was noted in 20 of 99 patients (20%); however, six of these patients were bradycardic prior to the administration of sugammadex. Older patients, male patients, and patients with higher body weight were the most likely to experience bradycardia. None of the patients required treatment for bradycardia.

Conclusions: The incidence of bradycardia following the administration of sugammadex was low, even in patients with congenital heart disease. Bradycardia was not associated with clinically significant hemodynamic changes and no treatment was required.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(5):274-279
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr1045


Sugammadex; Heart rate; Bradycardia

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