Patient suspected susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia: impact of the disease

Braz J Anesthesiol. 2023 Mar-Apr;73(2):138-144. doi: 10.1016/j.bjane.2021.10.021. Epub 2022 Feb 2.


Introduction: Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) is an inherited hypermetabolic syndrome triggered by exposure to halogenated anesthetics/succinylcholine. The lack of knowledge regarding this condition might be associated with the rare occurrence of MH reaction and symptoms.

Methods: This observational study evaluated 68 patients from 48 families with confirmed or suspected MH susceptibility due to medical history of MH reaction or idiopathic increase of creatine kinase or MH-related myopathies. Participants were assessed by a standardized questionnaire and submitted to physical/neurological examination to assess the characteristics of patients with MH, their knowledge about the disease, and the impact suspected MH had on their daily lives.

Results: Suspected MH impacted the daily life of 50% of patients, creating difficulties in performing surgical/clinical/dental treatment and problems related to their family life/working/practicing sports. The questionnaire on MH revealed a correct answer score of 62.1 ± 20.8 (mean ± standard deviation) on a scale 0 to 100. Abnormal physical/neurological examination findings were detected in 92.6% of susceptible patients.

Conclusions: Suspected MH had impacted the daily lives of most patients, with patients reporting problems even before MH investigation with IVCT. Patients showed a moderate level of knowledge about MH, suggesting the need to implement continuing education programs. MH susceptible patients require regular follow-up by a health team to detect abnormalities during physical and neurological examination.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Health education; Malignant hyperthermia.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Malignant Hyperthermia* / diagnosis
  • Succinylcholine
  • Syndrome


  • Anesthetics
  • Succinylcholine