Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research]]> vol. 45 num. 7 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Severity score system for progressive myelopathy</b>: <b>development and validation of a new clinical scale</b>]]> Progressive myelopathies can be secondary to inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) such as mucopolysaccharidosis, mucolipidosis, and adrenomyeloneuropathy. The available scale, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, was validated only for degenerative vertebral diseases. Our objective is to propose and validate a new scale addressing progressive myelopathies and to present validating data for JOA in these diseases. A new scale, Severity Score System for Progressive Myelopathy (SSPROM), covering motor disability, sphincter dysfunction, spasticity, and sensory losses. Inter- and intra-rater reliabilities were measured. External validation was tested by applying JOA, the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), the Barthel index, and the Osame Motor Disability Score. Thirty-eight patients, 17 with adrenomyeloneuropathy, 3 with mucopolysaccharidosis I, 3 with mucopolysaccharidosis IV, 2 with mucopolysaccharidosis VI, 2 with mucolipidosis, and 11 with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1)-associated myelopathy participated in the study. The mean ± SD SSPROM and JOA scores were 74.6 ± 11.4 and 12.4 ± 2.3, respectively. Construct validity for SSPROM (JOA: r = 0.84, P < 0.0001; EDSS: r = -0.83, P < 0.0001; Barthel: r = 0.56, P < 0.002; Osame: r = -0.94, P < 0.0001) and reliability (intra-rater: r = 0.83, P < 0.0001; inter-rater: r = 0.94, P < 0.0001) were demonstrated. The metric properties of JOA were similar to those found in SSPROM. Several clinimetric requirements were met for both SSPROM and JOA scales. Since SSPROM has a wider range, it should be useful for follow-up studies on IEM myelopathies. <![CDATA[<b>Micronucleated lymphocytes in parents of Down syndrome children</b>]]> Down syndrome (DS) is the most common disease due to an autosomal aneuploidy in live born children and also the major known genetic cause of mental retardation. The risk of a DS pregnancy increases substantially with increasing maternal age. However, several women aged less than 35 years at conception have a child with DS. The micronucleus (MN) assay can identify chromosome breakage or chromosome malsegregation and is an ideal biomarker to investigate genomic instability. The aim of the present study was to determine the frequency of peripheral lymphocytes with MN in the parents of DS individuals. The subjects were 17 couples, 1 father and 9 mothers, and 24 couples who had at least one healthy child formed the control group. For each individual we evaluated the frequency of binucleated micronucleated lymphocytes (BNMN%) as number of binucleated lymphocytes containing one or more MN per 1000 binucleated cells. The mean age of DS parents and controls was 32.6 and 29.8 years, respectively. The frequency of MN in DS parents was significantly higher compared to controls. The higher frequency of MN in DS parents suggests a higher predisposition of DS parents to aneuploidy events in this sample. <![CDATA[<b>Pain pressure threshold algometry of the abdominal wall in healthy women</b>]]> The objective of this study was to determine the inter- and intra-examiner reliability of pain pressure threshold algometry at various points of the abdominal wall of healthy women. Twenty-one healthy women in menacme with a mean age of 28 ± 5.4 years (range: 19-39 years) were included. All volunteers had regular menstrual cycles (27-33 days) and were right-handed and, to the best of our knowledge, none were taking medications at the time of testing. Women with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or other mood disturbances were excluded. Women with previous abdominal surgery, any pain condition or any evidence of inflammation, hypertension, smoking, alcoholism, or inflammatory disease were also excluded. Pain perception thresholds were assessed with a pressure algometer with digital traction and compression and a measuring capacity for 5 kg. All points were localized by palpation and marked with a felt-tipped pen and each individual was evaluated over a period of 2 days in two consecutive sessions, each session consisting of a set of 14 point measurements repeated twice by two examiners in random sequence. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean pain threshold obtained by the two examiners on 2 diferent days (examiner A: P = 1.00; examiner B: P = 0.75; Wilcoxon matched pairs test). There was excellent/good agreement between examiners for all days and all points. Our results have established baseline values to which future researchers will be able to refer. They show that pressure algometry is a reliable measure for pain perception in the abdominal wall of healthy women. <![CDATA[<b>Development of two potential diagnostic monoclonal antibodies against human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B</b>]]> Human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B (gB) represents a target for diagnosis and treatment in view of the role it plays in virus entry and spread. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, rare detection of a gB antigen has been reported in transplant patients and limited information is available about diagnostic gB monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Our aim was to develop gB mAbs with diagnostic potential. Hydrophilic gB peptides (ST: amino acids 27-40, SH: amino acids 81-94) of favorable immunogenicity were synthesized and used to immunize BALB/c mice. Two mAbs, named ZJU-FH6 and ZJU-FE6, were generated by the hybridoma technique and limited serial dilution and then characterized by indirect ELISA, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, and immunohistochemical staining. The mAbs displayed high titers of specific binding affinities for the ST and SH synthetic peptides at an mAb dilution of 1:60,000 and 1:240,000, respectively. Western blotting and immunoprecipitation indicated that these mAbs recognized both denatured and native gB of the Towne and AD169 strains. The mAbs, when used as the primary antibody, showed positive staining in cells infected with both Towne and AD169 strains. The mAbs were then tested on patients submitted to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The gB antigen positivity rates of the patients tested using ZJU-FH6 and ZJU-FE6 were 62.0 and 63.0%, respectively. The gB antigen showed a significant correlation with the level of pp65 antigen in peripheral blood leukocytes. In conclusion, two potential diagnostic gB mAbs were developed and were shown to be capable of recognizing gB in peripheral blood leukocytes in a reliable manner. <![CDATA[<b>Percent body fat is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk factors than body mass index </b>]]> The objective of the present study was to evaluate the predictive values of percent body fat (PBF) and body mass index (BMI) for cardiovascular risk factors, especially when PBF and BMI are conflicting. BMI was calculated by the standard formula and PBF was determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis. A total of 3859 ambulatory adult Han Chinese subjects (2173 males and 1686 females, age range: 18-85 years) without a history of cardiovascular diseases were recruited from February to September 2009. Based on BMI and PBF, they were classified into group 1 (normal BMI and PBF, N = 1961), group 2 (normal BMI, but abnormal PBF, N = 381), group 3 (abnormal BMI, but normal PBF, N = 681), and group 4 (abnormal BMI and PBF, N = 836). When age, gender, lifestyle, and family history of obesity were adjusted, PBF, but not BMI, was correlated with blood glucose and lipid levels. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for cardiovascular risk factors in groups 2 and 4 were 1.88 (1.45-2.45) and 2.06 (1.26-3.35) times those in group 1, respectively, but remained unchanged in group 3 (OR = 1.32, 95%CI = 0.92-1.89). Logistic regression models also demonstrated that PBF, rather than BMI, was independently associated with cardiovascular risk factors. In conclusion, PBF, and not BMI, is independently associated with cardiovascular risk factors, indicating that PBF is a better predictor. <![CDATA[<b>Paradoxical effect of a pequi oil-rich diet on the development of atherosclerosis</b>: <b>balance between antioxidant and hyperlipidemic properties</b>]]> Pequi is the fruit of Caryocar brasiliense and its oil has a high concentration of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids, which are anti- and pro-atherogenic agents, respectively, and of carotenoids, which give it antioxidant properties. Our objective was to study the effect of the intake of a cholesterol-rich diet supplemented with pequi oil, compared to the same diet containing soybean oil, on atherosclerosis development, and oxidative stress in atherosclerosis-susceptible LDL receptor-deficient mice (LDLr-/-, C57BL/6-background). Female mice were fed a cholesterol-rich diet containing 7% soybean oil (Soybean group, N = 12) or 7% pequi oil (Pequi group, N = 12) for 6 weeks. The Pequi group presented a more atherogenic lipid profile and more advanced atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root compared to the Soybean group. However, the Pequi group presented a less advanced lesion in the aorta than the Soybean group and showed lower lipid peroxidation (Soybean group: 50.2 ± 7.1; Pequi group: 30.0 ± 4.8 µmol MDA/mg protein) and anti-oxidized LDL autoantibodies (Soybean group: 35.7 ± 9.4; Pequi group: 15.6 ± 3.7 arbitrary units). Peritoneal macrophages from the Pequi group stimulated with zymosan showed a reduction in the release of reactive oxygen species compared to the Soybean group. Our data suggest that a pequi oil-rich diet slows atherogenesis in the initial stages, possibly due to its antioxidant activity. However, the increase of serum cholesterol induces a more prominent LDL migration toward the intimae of arteries, increasing the advanced atherosclerotic plaque. In conclusion, pequi oil associated with an atherogenic diet worsens the lipid profile and accelerates the formation of advanced atherosclerotic lesions despite its antioxidant action. <![CDATA[<b>Hemodynamic mechanisms of the attenuated blood pressure response to mental stress after a single bout of maximal dynamic exercise in healthy subjects</b>]]> To determine the hemodynamic mechanisms responsible for the attenuated blood pressure response to mental stress after exercise, 26 healthy sedentary individuals (age 29 ± 8 years) underwent the Stroop color-word test before and 60 min after a bout of maximal dynamic exercise on a treadmill. A subgroup (N = 11) underwent a time-control experiment without exercise. Blood pressure was continuously and noninvasively recorded by infrared finger photoplethysmography. Stroke volume was derived from pressure signals, and cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance were calculated. Perceived mental stress scores were comparable between mental stress tests both in the exercise (P = 0.96) and control (P = 0.24) experiments. After exercise, the blood pressure response to mental stress was attenuated (pre: 10 ± 13 vs post: 6 ± 7 mmHg; P < 0.01) along with lower values of systolic blood pressure (pre: 129 ± 3 vs post: 125 ± 3 mmHg; P < 0.05), stroke volume (pre: 89.4 ± 3.5 vs post: 76.8 ± 3.8 mL; P < 0.05), and cardiac output (pre: 7.00 ± 0.30 vs post: 6.51 ± 0.36 L/min; P < 0.05). Except for heart rate, the hemodynamic responses and the mean values during the two mental stress tests in the control experiment were similar (P &gt; 0.05). In conclusion, a single bout of maximal dynamic exercise attenuates the blood pressure response to mental stress in healthy subjects, along with lower stroke volume and cardiac output, denoting an acute modulatory action of exercise on the central hemodynamic response to mental stress. <![CDATA[<b>Prognostic significance of snail expression in hilar cholangiocarcinoma</b>]]> Many patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HC) have a poor prognosis. Snail, a transcription factor and E-cadherin repressor, is a novel prognostic factor in many cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between snail and E-cadherin protein expression and the prognostic significance of snail expression in HC. We examined the protein expression of snail and E-cadherin in HC tissues from 47 patients (22 males and 25 females, mean age 61.2 years) using immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Proliferation rate was also evaluated in the same cases by the MIB1 index. High, low and negative snail protein expression was recorded in 18 (38%), 17 (36%), and 12 (26%) cases, respectively, and 40.4% (19/47) cases showed reduced E-cadherin protein expression in HC samples. No significant correlation was found between snail and E-cadherin protein expression levels (P = 0.056). No significant correlation was found between snail protein expression levels and gender, age, tumor grade, vascular or perineural invasion, nodal metastasis and invasion, or proliferative index. Cancer samples with positive snail protein expression were associated with poor survival compared with the negative expresser groups. Kaplan-Meier curves comparing different snail protein expression levels to survival showed highly significant separation (P < 0.0001, log-rank test). With multivariate analysis, only snail protein expression among all parameters was found to influence survival (P = 0.0003). We suggest that snail expression levels can predict poor survival regardless of pathological features and tumor proliferation. Immunohistochemical detection of snail protein expression levels in routine sections may provide the first biological prognostic marker. <![CDATA[<b><i>Trans</i></b><b> fatty acid intake is associated with insulin sensitivity but independently of inflammation</b>]]> High saturated and trans fatty acid intake, the typical dietary pattern of Western populations, favors a proinflammatory status that contributes to generating insulin resistance (IR). We examined whether the consumption of these fatty acids was associated with IR and inflammatory markers. In this cross-sectional study, 127 non-diabetic individuals were allocated to a group without IR and 56 to another with IR, defined as homeostasis model assessment-IR (HOMA-IR) &gt;2.71. Diet was assessed using 24-h food recalls. Multiple linear regression was employed to test independent associations with HOMA-IR. The IR group presented worse anthropometric, biochemical and inflammatory profiles. Energy intake was correlated with abdominal circumference and inversely with adiponectin concentrations (r = -0.227, P = 0.002), while saturated fat intake correlated with inflammatory markers and trans fat with HOMA-IR (r = 0.160, P = 0.030). Abdominal circumference was associated with HOMA-IR (r = 0.430, P < 0.001). In multiple analysis, HOMA-IR remained associated with trans fat intake (β = 1.416, P = 0.039) and body mass index (β = 0.390, P < 0.001), and was also inversely associated with adiponectin (β = -1.637, P = 0.004). Inclusion of other nutrients (saturated fat and added sugar) or other inflammatory markers (IL-6 and CRP) into the models did not modify these associations. Our study supports that trans fat intake impairs insulin sensitivity. The hypothesis that its effect could depend on transcription factors, resulting in expression of proinflammatory genes, was not corroborated. We speculate that trans fat interferes predominantly with insulin signaling via intracellular kinases, which alter insulin receptor substrates. <![CDATA[<b>Interleukin-10-dependent down-regulation of interferon-gamma response to <i>Leishmania </i>by <i>Mycobacterium leprae</i> antigens during the clinical course of a coinfection</b>]]> We have described a case of a patient with an intriguing association of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis with lepromatous leprosy, two opposite polar forms of these spectral diseases. In the present follow-up study, we investigated the effect of the addition of Mycobacterium leprae antigens on interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production in Leishmania antigen-stimulated cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from this patient. For this purpose, PBMC cultures were stimulated with crude L. braziliensis and/or M. leprae whole-cell antigen extracts or with concanavalin A. In some experiments, neutralizing anti-human interleukin (IL)-10 antibodies were added to the cultures. IFN-γ and IL-10 levels in culture supernatants were measured by ELISA. During active leprosy, M. leprae antigens induced 72.3% suppression of the IFN-γ response to L. braziliensis antigen, and this suppression was abolished by IL-10 neutralization. Interestingly, the suppressive effect of M. leprae antigen was lost after the cure of leprosy and the disappearance of this effect was accompanied by exacerbation of mucosal leishmaniasis. Considered together, these results provide evidence that the concomitant lepromatous leprosy induced an IL-10-mediated regulatory response that controlled the immunopathology of mucosal leishmaniasis, demonstrating that, in the context of this coinfection, the specific immune response to one pathogen can influence the immune response to the other pathogen and the clinical course of the disease caused by it. Our findings may contribute to a better understanding of the Leishmania/M. leprae coinfection and of the immunopathogenesis of mucosal leishmaniasis. <![CDATA[<b>Emergence of clonal complex 5 (CC5) methicillin-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus </i>(MRSA) isolates susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in a Brazilian hospital</b>]]> In this study, genotyping techniques including staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and restriction-modification tests were used to compare the molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates recovered at two times within a 10-year interval (1998 and 2008) from a tertiary Brazilian hospital. In addition, the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were analyzed. All 48 MRSA isolates from 1998 and 85.7% from 2008 (48/56 isolates) displayed multidrug-resistance phenotypes and SCCmec III. All but one of the 13 representative SCCmec III isolates belonged to CC8 and had PFGE patterns similar to that of the BMB9393 strain (Brazilian epidemic clone of MRSA; BEC). In 2008, we found an increased susceptibility to rifampicin and chloramphenicol among the SCCmec III isolates. In addition, we detected the entrance of diverse international MRSA lineages susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT), almost all belonging to CC5. These non-SCCmec III isolates were related to the USA 300 (ST8-SCCmec IV; PFGE-type B), USA 800 (ST5-SCCmec IV; subtype D1), USA 100 (ST5-SCCmec II; subtype D2), and EMRSA-3/Cordobes (ST5-SCCmec I, type C) clones. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the emergence of isolates genetically related to the EMRSA-3/Cordobes clone in southeast Brazil. In this regard, these isolates were the most common non-SCCmec III MRSA in our institution, accounting for 8.9% of all isolates recovered in 2008. Thus, despite the supremacy of BEC isolates in our country, significant changes may occur in local MRSA epidemiology, with possible consequences for the rationality of MRSA empiric therapy. <![CDATA[<b>Association of <i>Bartonella </i>spp bacteremia with Chagas cardiomyopathy, endocarditis and arrythmias in patients from South America</b>]]> Infection with Bartonella spp may cause cardiac arrhythmias, myocarditis and endocarditis in humans. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a possible association between Bartonella spp bacteremia and endocarditis, arrhythmia and Chagas cardiomyopathy in patients from Brazil and Argentina. We screened for the presence of bacterial 16S rRNA in human blood by PCR using oligonucleotides to amplify a 185-bp bacterial DNA fragment. Blood samples were taken from four groups of subjects in Brazil and Argentina: i) control patients without clinical disease, ii) patients with negative blood-culture endocarditis, iii) patients with arrhythmias, and iv) patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy. PCR products were analyzed on 1.5% agarose gel to visualize the 185-bp fragment and then sequenced to confirm the identity of DNA. Sixty of 148 patients (40.5%) with cardiac disease and 1 of 56 subjects (1.8%) from the control group presented positive PCR amplification for Bartonella spp, suggesting a positive association of the bacteria with these diseases. Separate analysis of the four groups showed that the risk of a Brazilian patient with endocarditis being infected with Bartonella was 22 times higher than in the controls. In arrhythmic patients, the prevalence of infection was 45 times higher when compared to the same controls and 40 times higher for patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of the association between Bartonella spp bacteremia and Chagas disease. The present data may be useful for epidemiological and prevention studies in Brazil and Argentina. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of renal function in sickle cell disease patients in Brazil</b>]]> The objective of this study was to investigate renal function in a cohort of 98 patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) followed up at a tertiary hospital in Brazil. Clinical and laboratory characteristics at the time of the most recent medical examination were analyzed. Renal function was evaluated by the estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by the criteria of the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI). We compared patients with normal GFR to patients with decreased GFR (<60 mL·min-1·(1.73 m²)-1) and hyperfiltration (&gt;120 mL·min-1·(1.73 m²)-1). Comparison between patients according to the use of hydroxyurea and comparison of clinical and laboratory parameters according to GFR were also carried out. Average patient age was 33.8 ± 13.3 years (range 19-67 years), and 57 (58.1%) patients were females. The comparison of patients according to GFR showed that patients with decreased GFR (<60 mL·min-1·(1.73 m²)-1) were older, had lower levels of hematocrit, hemoglobin and platelets and higher levels of urea and creatinine. Independent risk factors for decreased GFR were advanced age (OR = 21.6, P < 0.0001) and anemia (OR = 39.6, P < 0.0001). Patients with glomerular hyperfiltration tended to be younger, had higher levels of hematocrit, hemoglobin and platelets and lower levels of urea and creatinine, with less frequent urinary abnormalities. Hydroxyurea, at the dosage of 500-1000 mg/day, was being administered to 28.5% of the patients, and there was no significant difference regarding renal function between the two groups. Further studies are required to establish the best therapeutic approach to renal abnormalities in SCD. <![CDATA[<b>Correlations of circulating peptide YY and ghrelin with body weight, rate of weight gain, and time required to achieve the recommended daily intake in preterm infants</b>]]> The objective was to elucidate the relationships between serum concentrations of the gut hormone peptide YY (PYY) and ghrelin and growth development in infants for potential application to the clinical observation index. Serum concentrations of PYY and ghrelin were measured using radioimmunoassay from samples collected at the clinic. For each patient, gestational age, birth weight, time required to return to birth weight, rate of weight gain, time required to achieve recommended daily intake (RDI) standards, time required for full-gastric feeding, duration of hospitalization, and time of administration of total parenteral nutrition were recorded. Serum PYY and ghrelin concentrations were significantly higher in the preterm group (N = 20) than in the full-term group (N = 20; P < 0.01). Within the preterm infant group, the serum concentrations of PYY and ghrelin on postnatal day (PND) 7 (ghrelin = 1485.38 ± 409.24; PYY = 812.37 ± 153.77 ng/L) were significantly higher than on PND 1 (ghrelin = 956.85 ± 223.09; PYY = 545.27 ± 204.51 ng/L) or PND 3 (ghrelin = 1108.44 ± 351.36; PYY = 628.96 ± 235.63 ng/L; P < 0.01). Both serum PYY and ghrelin concentrations were negatively correlated with body weight, and the degree of correlation varied with age. Serum ghrelin concentration correlated negatively with birth weight and positively with the time required to achieve RDI (P < 0.05). In conclusion, serum PYY and ghrelin concentrations reflect a negative energy balance, predict postnatal growth, and enable compensation. Further studies are required to elucidate the precise concentration and roles of PYY and ghrelin in newborns and to determine the usefulness of measuring these hormones in clinical practice. <![CDATA[<b>Vascular dysfunction by myofibroblast activation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and prognostic significance</b>]]> In this study, we demonstrated the importance of telomerase protein expression and determined the relationships among telomerase, endothelin-1 (ET-1) and myofibroblasts during early and late remodeling of parenchymal and vascular areas in usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) using 27 surgical lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Telomerase+, myofibroblasts α-SMA+, smooth muscle cells caldesmon+, endothelium ET-1+ cellularity, and fibrosis severity were evaluated in 30 fields covering normal lung parenchyma, minimal fibrosis (fibroblastic foci), severe (mural) fibrosis, and vascular areas of UIP by the point-counting technique and a semiquantitative score. The impact of these markers was determined in pulmonary functional tests and follow-up until death from IPF. Telomerase and ET-1 expression was significantly increased in normal and vascular areas compared to areas of fibroblast foci. Telomerase and ET-1 expression was inversely correlated with minimal fibrosis in areas of fibroblast foci and directly associated with severe fibrosis in vascular areas. Telomerase activity in minimal fibrosis areas was directly associated with diffusing capacity of the lung for oxygen/alveolar volume and ET-1 expression and indirectly associated with diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide and severe fibrosis in vascular areas. Cox proportional hazards regression revealed a low risk of death for females with minimal fibrosis displaying high telomerase and ET-1 expression in normal areas. Vascular dysfunction by telomerase/ET-1 expression was found earlier than vascular remodeling by myofibroblast activation in UIP with impact on IPF evolution, suggesting that strategies aimed at preventing the effect of these mediators may have a greater impact on patient outcome. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of the variability of the onset and recovery from neuromuscular blockade with cisatracurium versus rocuronium in elderly patients under total intravenous anesthesia</b>]]> This study was designed to compare the variability of the onset and offset of the effect of two neuromuscular blocking drugs with different elimination pathways in adult and elderly patients during total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA). After Ethics Committee approval and patients’ informed consent, the drugs were compared in 40 adult and 40 elderly patients scheduled for elective surgery under TIVA with tracheal intubation who were randomized to receive a single bolus dose of 0.15 mg/kg cisatracurium or 0.9 mg/kg rocuronium. The time of onset of maximum depression, duration of action, and recovery index time were measured and recorded for each patient and variability is reported as means ± standard deviation. Time of onset was significantly shorter for rocuronium than cisatracurium for the adult and elderly groups (P = 0.000), but the variability of cisatracurium was significantly greater compared with rocuronium for the same age groups (93.25 vs 37.01 s in the adult group and 64.56 vs 33.75 s in the elderly group; P = 0.000). The duration of the effect in the elderly group receiving rocuronium was significantly longer than in the elderly group receiving cisatracurium, and the variability of the duration was significantly greater in the rocuronium group than in the cisatracurium group. Mean time of recovery was significantly longer for the elderly group receiving rocuronium than for the elderly group receiving cisatracurium (P = 0.022), and variability was also greater (P = 0.002). Both drugs favored good intubating conditions. In conclusion, cisatracurium showed less variability in these parameters than rocuronium, especially in the elderly, a fact that may be of particular clinical interest.