Malignant hyperthermia (MH) and central core disease (CCD) are autosomal dominant disorders of skeletal muscle. Susceptibility to MH is only apparent after exposure to volatile anesthetics and/or depolarizing muscle relaxants. CCD patients present with diffuse muscular weakness but are also at risk of MH. Mutations in RYR1 (19q13.1), encoding a skeletal muscle calcium release channel (ryanodine receptor), account for the majority of MH and CCD cases. Fifteen RYR1 N-terminal mutations are considered causative of MH susceptibility, five of which are also associated with CCD. In the first extensive UK population survey, eight of 15 mutations were detected in 85 out of 297 (29%) unrelated MH susceptible cases, with G2434R detected in 53 cases (18%). Mutation type was shown to affect significantly MH phenotypes (in vitro contracture test (IVCT) response to caffeine, halothane, and ryanodine). RYR1 mutations associated with both CCD and MH (R163C, R2163H, R2435H) had more severe caffeine and halothane response phenotypes than those associated with MH alone. Mutations near the amino terminal (R163C, G341R) had a relatively greater effect on responses to caffeine than halothane, with a significantly increased caffeine:halothane tension ratio compared to G2434R of the central domain. All phenotypes were more severe in males than females, and were also affected by muscle specimen size and viability. Discordance between RYR1 genotype and IVCT phenotype was observed in seven families (nine individuals), with five false-positives and four false-negatives. This represents the most extensive study of MH patient clinical and genetic data to date and demonstrates that RYR1 mutations involved in CCD are those associated with one end of the spectrum of MH IVCT phenotypes.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.