Dibucaine number

Basic, Basic Sciences

Dibucaine hydrocholoride is an amide local anesthetic, which when injected intravenously, can inhibit plasma cholinesterase or butyryl cholinesterase--the enzyme responsible for clearance of paralytics such as succinylcholine and mivacurium. This known property of Dubicaine has become standardized to measure the amount of effective plasma cholinesterase in an individual through the Dibucaine Number (DN). The DN is thus defined as the “percent of butylcholinesterase activity that is inhibited by dibucaine.” (1)


    Chem Biol Interact;2016 Nov 25;259(Pt B):70-77

    [PubMed: 27109752]

    J Clin Anesth;2002 Aug;14(5):381-4

    [PubMed: 12208445]

    Arch Environ Health;1997 Jan-Feb;52(1):42-4

    [PubMed: 9039856]


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Rashid Hussain, MD