The Final Steps Leading to the Anesthetic Use of Muscle Relaxants

  • Francis F. Foldes
Conference paper


The first use of a neuromuscular blocking agent (muscle relaxant; MR) for relaxation of the abdominal muscles was reported by Arthur Läwen in 1912.1


Abdominal Muscle Neuromuscular Blocking Agent Shock Therapy Muscular Relaxation Bellevue Hospital 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Läwen A: Über die Verbindung der Lokalanaesthesie mit der Narkose, über hohe Extraduralanaesthesia und peridurale Injektionen anaesthesierender Lösungen bei tabetischen Magenkrisen. Beitr K1in Chir 80:168–189, 1912Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boehm R: Über Curare und Curarealkaloide. Arch Pharm Berlin 235:660–684, 1897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Foldes FF, Wolfson B, Sokoll M: The use of toxiferine for the production of surgical relaxation. Anesthesiology 22:93–99, 1961PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    King H: Curare alkaloids, I. Tubocurarine. J Chem Soc 57:1381–1389, 1935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    West R: Intravenous curarine in the treatment of tetanus. Lancet 230:12–16, 1936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gill RC: White Water and Black Magic, H. Holt & Co, New York, 1940Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Humble RM: The Gill-Merrill Expedition. Penultimate chapter in the curare story. Anesthesiology 57:519–526, 1982PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Burman MS: Therapeutic use of curare and erythroidine hydrochloride for spastic and dystonic states. Arch Neurol Psychiat 41:306–327, 1939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bennett AE: Curare: A preventive of traumatic complications in convulsive shock therapy. Am J Psychiat 97:1040–1060, 1941Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wintersteiner D, Dutcher JD: Curare alkaloids from Chondodendron tomentosum. Science 97:467–470, 1943PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Holaday HA: Report of the committee on pharmacological assays. Proc Am Drug Manuf Ass 35th Ann Meeting, 1947. pp 143–145.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thomas KB: Curare. Its History and Usage. JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia, 1963. p 105.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cullen SC: The use of curare for the improvement of abdominal muscle relaxation during inhalation anesthesia. Surgery 14:261–266, 1943Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Griffith HR, Johnson GE: The use of curare in general anesthesia. Anesthesiology 3:418–420, 1942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gray TC, Halton J: Technique for the use of d-tubocurarine chloride with balanced anaesthesia. Br Med J 2:293–295, 1946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beecher HK, Todd DP: A study of the deaths associated with anesthesia and surgery. Ann Surg 140:2–34, 1954PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abajian J et al: Critique of a study of the deaths associated with anesthesia and surgery. Ann Surg 142:138, 1955PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis F. Foldes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyMontefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

Personalised recommendations