History of Muscle Relaxants in Japan

  • Kenichi Iwatsuki
Conference paper


In summer 1950 the Joint Meeting of Japanese and American Medical Educators was held in Tokyo for 4 weeks under the sponsorship of UNICEF and eminent American scholars gave us lectures concerning the recent advances in the various fields of medicine. Fortunately I had an opportunity to attend the session of anesthesiology and heard the lectures by Dr. Meyer Saklad from Rhode Island Hospital. He opened our eyes to modern anesthesia. In December 1951 I was allowed to visit an American Naval Hospital in Yokosuka for 2 weeks and observed many cases of general anesthesia for the patients from the Korean battle field. Endotracheal intubation was performed very easily using decamethonium (Syncurine®). Without muscle relaxants, however, it was a very difficult procedure for us. Therefore, I was deeply impressed by the wonderful action of Syncurine®. The history of muscle relaxants in Japan, which actually started after World War II, is presented in the following, based mainly on my own experiences.


Muscle Relaxant Endotracheal Intubation Residual Curarization Compound Action Potential Muscular Relaxation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenichi Iwatsuki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyTohoku University School of MedicineAoba-ku, Sendai, 980Japan

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