Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a rare but potentially lethal skeletal muscle disorder affecting calcium release channels. It is inherited in a mendelian autosomal dominant pattern with variable penetration. The initial clinical manifestations are of a hypermetabolic state with increased CO2 production, respiratory acidosis, increased temperature, and increased oxygen demands. If diagnosed late, MH progresses to multi-organ system failure and death. Current data suggest that mortality has improved to less than 5%. The gold standard for ruling out MH is the contracture test. Genetic testing is also available. MH-susceptible individuals should be clearly identified for safe administration of future anesthetics.
Keywords: Caffeine-halothane contracture test; Charcoal filters; Dantrolene; MHAUS; Malignant hyperthermia.
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