Other Names for this Disease
- Apnea, Postanesthetic
- Butyrylcholinesterase deficiency
- Cholinesterase 2 Deficiency
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Tests & Diagnosis
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Although the diagnosis is suspected after an episode of prolonged respiratory paralysis following administration of succinylcholine, the diagnosis of pseudocholinesterase deficiency is confirmed by a laboratory test. Serum cholinesterase is a test for the enzymes acetylcholinesterase (also known as RBC cholinesterase) and pseudocholinesterase (also known as butyrylcholinesterase or plasma cholinesterase), which act to break down acetylcholine, a chemical critical in the transmission of nerve impulses. This test may be performed prior to anesthesia with succinylcholine (a paralyzing agent that is eliminated by these enzymes) to exclude a genetic deficiency of these enzymes. This is often done in individuals who have a family history of a prolonged drug effect during anesthesia.
Last updated: 4/12/2013
- Daniel R Alexander. Pseudocholinesterase Deficiency. eMedicine. July 17, 2006; http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1935.htm. Accessed 9/4/2008.
- Daniel R Alexander. Serum cholinesterase. MedlinePlus. May 25, 2007; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003358.htm. Accessed 9/4/2008.