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Stiff-person syndrome is an uncommon disease characterized by muscular rigidity and painful spasms in the axial and limb muscles. We report a 58-year-old woman with stiff-person syndrome undergoing thymectomy under general anesthesia. Before surgery, her medications were 25 mg of diazepam, 2 mg of clonazepam, and 15 mg of gabapentin per day. After epidural catheterization for the postoperative analgesia, general anesthesia was induced and maintained with continuous remifentanil infusion and propofol with target controlled infusion. With train-of-four ratio (TOFR) monitoring by stimulating the ulnar nerve, her trachea was intubated after 0.6mg x kg(-1) of rocuronium intravenous administration. Since then, additional rocuronium was not given for 4 hours. After surgery, she was fully awake and TOFR recovered to 100%, but tidal volume was too low to remove the tracheal tube, and mechanical ventilation was continued in ICU. On the next day, the tracheal tube was removed, and she was discharged from ICU. Because anesthetics may delay the recovery of respiratory function in a patient with stiff-person syndrome, careful assessment of respiratory function is needed at the emergence from general anesthesia.


Takahiro Tadokoro, Soichiro Yamashita, Maiko Ishigaki, Shinji Takahashi, Makoto Tanaka. Anesthetic management of a patient with stiff-person syndrome undergoing thymectomy]. Masui. The Japanese journal of anesthesiology. 2012 Feb;61(2):193-6

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PMID: 22413445

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