Why this test?
To check a patient who has had contact with pesticides containing organophosphorus substances - they can inhibit cholinesterase and pseudocholinesterase activity.
Symptoms appear suddenly in the case of acute poisoning or may occur gradually, as chronic exposure to these substances occurs. Penetration of insecticides into the body can occur by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.
To detect hereditary pseudocholinesterase deficiency. Sometimes enzyme deficiency can be inherited due to genetic variations of the enzyme. Pseudocholinesterase is necessary for the body to inactivate succinylcholine, a muscle relaxant that is usually used during surgery. In patients with low activity or a defective form of pseudocholinesterase after anesthesia, the effect of medications may be prolonged, causing prolonged muscle paralysis and suffocation.
In what cases is it prescribed?
Periodically, those who use organophosphorus substances in agriculture or in the chemical industry.
In the assessment of acute poisoning by harmful substances that can cause neuromuscular damage. Symptoms of poisoning vary depending on the substance, its quantity and the way it enters the body: headache, dizziness, nausea, increased lacrimation and salivation, sweating.
In very severe poisoning, additional symptoms appear: vomiting, diarrhea, darkening of the eyes or blurred vision due to narrowing of the pupils, muscle weakness, convulsive twitching, impaired coordination of movements, slowed breathing, which leads to respiratory failure and the need for artificial lungs ventilation.
Before surgery, if close relatives of the patient have ever had prolonged paralysis and suffocation after the use of succinylcholine.
Cholinesterase is an enzyme necessary for the functioning of the nervous system.
There are two types of cholinesterase in the body: acetylcholinesterase, which is present in red blood cells, as well as in the lungs, spleen, nerve endings, and gray matter of the brain, and pseudocholinesterase (butyrylcholinesterase), which is found in blood serum, liver, muscle, pancreas, heart, and white matter of the brain. Acetylcholinesterase is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses by breaking down acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits signals through nerve cell endings.
A decrease in the activity of acetylcholinesterase leads to the accumulation of acetylcholine in nerve endings. This, in turn, leads to excessive irritability of nerve cells.
Pseudocholinesterase is necessary for the breakdown and metabolism of toxins and medicinal substances.