Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

R. James Swanson

Committee Member

Lloyd Wolfinbarger, Jr.

Committee Member

Lytton J. Musselman

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P74


Succinylcholine (SCh) chloride is a depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent used to paralyze patients for surgical procedures. Over 1,800 clinical observations of newborn infants have demonstrated that succinylcholine does not cross the placenta in quantities detrimental to fetuses (Kolstad, et al., 1957, Bakhoum, et al., 1957, Hodges, et al., 1959, Duffield, et al., 1958, Dennis, et al., 1954, 1956, McNab, 1955, Coleman, et al., 1956, Lund, 1953). Later investigations which involved comparison of blood levels of SCh in the mother to those in fetuses bolstered the finding that SCh fails to cross the placenta in significant amounts (Moya and Kvisselgaard, 1961, Kvisselgaard and Moya, 1961). However, it has not been established that succinylcholine lacks embryotoxic qualities at an earlier developmental stage when no protective placental barrier exists. At this earlier stage, embryos are exposed to all substances that cross capillary membranes to become a component of oviductal and peritoneal fluids which comprise the external milieu of embryos.

Various concentrations of SCh were tested using in vitro culture of early-stage mouse embryos. Among all concentrations tested, from the ED50 to 10,000 times the ED50 for mice, no statistically significant differences were observed in mouse embryo development from two-cell to hatching blastocyst stages in treatment and control groups.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).