This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Pseudocholinesterase deficiency is a condition that causes increased sensitivity to certain muscle relaxant drugs used during general anesthesia (choline esters). These drugs relax the muscles used for movement, including those used for breathing. Normally, the muscles are able to move again a few minutes after the drugs are given. People with pseudocholinesterase deficiency may not be able to move or breathe on their own for a few hours after these drugs are given. They therefore may need mechanical ventilation until the drugs are cleared from the body. People with this condition may also have increased sensitivity to other types of drugs as well as to some agricultural pesticides.
Pseudocholinesterase deficiency can be inherited (genetic) or acquired. When it is inherited, it is autosomal recessive and caused by mutations in the BCHE gene. Acquired pseudocholinesterase deficiency may have various causes such as chronic infection, kidney or liver disease, malnutrition, major burns, cancer, or various medications.
For more information, visit GARD.