Neuromuscular blockers in the acute respiratory distress syndrome: A meta-analysis

Autoři: Yusi Hua aff001;  Xiaofeng Ou aff002;  Qian Li aff001;  Tao Zhu aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China aff001;  Department of Critical Care, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article



The effects of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) on adult patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remain unclear. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate its effect on mortality.


We searched the Cochrane (Central) database, Medline, Embase, the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (SinoMed), WanFang data and ClinicalTrials from inception to June 2019, with language restriction to English and Chinese. We included published RCTs and eligible clinical trials from that compared NMBAs with placebo or usual treatment in adults with ARDS. We pooled data using random-effects models. The primary outcome was mortality. The secondary outcomes were the ratio of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FIO2), total positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP), plateau pressure (Pplat), days free of ventilator at day 28, barotrauma and ICU-acquired weakness.


We included 6 RCTs (n = 1557). Compared with placebo or usual treatment, NMBAs were associated with lower 21 to 28-day mortality (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53–0.97, I2 = 59%). NMBAs significantly improved oxygenation (Pao2:Fio2 ratios) at 48 hours (MD 27.26 mm Hg, 95% CI 1.67, 52.84, I2 = 92%) and reduced the incidence of barotrauma (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.35, 0.85, I2 = 0). However, NMBAs had no effect on oxygenation (Pao2:Fio2 ratios) (MD 18.41 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.33, 37.14, I2 = 72%) at 24 hours. We also found NMBAs did not affect total PEEP, plateau pressure, days free of ventilation at day 28 and ICU-acquired weakness.


In patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS, the administration of NMBAs could reduce 21 to 28-day mortality and barotrauma, and improve oxygenation at 48 hours, but have no significant effects on 90-day/ICU mortality, days free of ventilation at day 28 and the risk of ICU-acquired weakness. Further large-scale, high-quality RCTs are needed to confirm our findings. Registration: PROSPERO (ID: CRD 42019139656).

Klíčová slova:

Acute respiratory distress syndrome – Death rates – Intensive care units – Metaanalysis – Neuromuscular blockade – Oxygen – Randomized controlled trials – Sequence analysis


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