The action of neuromuscular blocking drugs in man has been subject to widespread observation and experimentation ever since their introduction into clinical practice just over thirty years ago. Many of the reports in the extensive literature on the subject are concerned with experience in the use of these drugs in anaesthesia and provide assistance to the practising clinician. In many instances, however, their contribution to our understanding of the pharmacology of neuromuscular blockade is slight. The same is unfortunately also true of some of the research in this field, for much experimental work has been done in the past under conditions which were inadequately controlled, making interpretation of the findings difficult and occasionally invalid. In what follows, therefore, this chapter concentrates largely on results obtained in man by quantitative measurement and attempts to clarify conflicting data which appear in published experiments by special reference to the many pitfalls to research in this field.


Ulnar Nerve Neuromuscular Blockade Adductor Pollicis Tetanic Stimulation Plasma Cholinesterase 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1976

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  • S. E. Smith

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