To diagnose pseudocholinesterase deficiency or PD, doctors use a genetic test to see if you have the two faulty genes that cause the condition. Tell your doctor if you or a family member has pseudocholinesterase deficiency or other issues with anesthesia. You can prevent problems by being tested before you have surgery.


If you have a family history of PD or a family member who has problems with anesthesia, tell your doctor prior to any surgery. You can prevent problems by being tested before using the drug. If you have PD, you may want to wear a medical bracelet identifying your condition. Tell family members to be tested prior to surgery as well.

While there is no cure for PD, treatments are available. If breathing stops during surgery, breathing support can be provided. In most cases, recovery happens without the need for medical assistance.

Dec. 21, 2018
  1. National Library of Medicine. Pseudocholinesterase deficiency. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/pseudocholinesterase-deficiency. Accessed March 2, 2016.
  2. Thomsen JL, et al. Awareness during emergence from anaesthesia: Significance of neuromuscular monitoring in patients with butyrylcholinesterase deficiency. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2015;115(suppl):i78. http://bja.oxfordjournals.org. Accessed March 3, 2016.
  3. Soliday FK, et al. Pseudocholinesterase deficiency: A comprehensive review of genetic, acquired and drug influences. AANA Journal. www.aana.com/aanajournalonline.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2016.
  4. Pseudocholinesterase deficiency. National Organization for Rare Disorders. http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/pseudocholinesterase-deficiency/. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Pseudocholinesterase deficiency