Pseudocholinesterase Deficiency: What the gastroenterologist needs to know
Publication date: Available online 10 November 2018
Source: The American Journal of the Medical Sciences
Author(s): Alejandro Robles, Majd Michael, Richard McCallum
Pseudocholinesterase deficiency is a rare genetic as well as an acquired disorder that affects the body's ability to metabolize choline esters such as succinylcholine and mivacurium. It can be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, occurring in approximately 1 in 3,200 to 1 in 5,000 people. In most cases of pseudocholinesterase deficiency, no signs or symptoms of the condition exists. It is first suspected after a prolonged recovery from paralysis following general anesthesia in which succinylcholine or mivacurium are administered. We emphasize the importance of obtaining a detailed history prior to any endoscopic intervention or surgery requiring monitored anesthesia care or general anesthesia. In addition, a family history of anesthesia complications may help identify patients at risk. This article examines a case of a patient who underwent a successful endoscopic pneumatic dilation under general anesthesia for the treatment of achalasia but was subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit, requiring mechanical ventilator support, for 18 hours. The patient made a complete recovery and was subsequently discharged home with no further complications. This case stimulated a review of this entity and we provide recommendations relevant to all proceduralist and anesthesia staff, as well as all personnel involved in procedures.