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Management of malignant hyperthermia: diagnosis and treatment

Authors Schneiderbanger D, Johannsen S, Roewer N, Schuster F

Received 1 February 2014

Accepted for publication 27 February 2014

Published 14 May 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 355—362

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S47632

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Daniel Schneiderbanger, Stephan Johannsen, Norbert Roewer, Frank Schuster

Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

Abstract: Malignant hyperthermia is a potentially lethal inherited disorder characterized by disturbance of calcium homeostasis in skeletal muscle. Volatile anesthetics and/or the depolarizing muscle relaxant succinylcholine may induce this hypermetabolic muscular syndrome due to uncontrolled sarcoplasmic calcium release via functionally altered calcium release receptors, resulting in hypoxemia, hypercapnia, tachycardia, muscular rigidity, acidosis, hyperkalemia, and hyperthermia in susceptible individuals. Since the clinical presentation of malignant hyperthermia is highly variable, survival of affected patients depends largely on early recognition of the symptoms characteristic of malignant hyperthermia, and immediate action on the part of the attending anesthesiologist. Clinical symptoms of malignant hyperthermia, diagnostic criteria, and current therapeutic guidelines, as well as adequate management of anesthesia in patients susceptible to malignant hyperthermia, are discussed in this review.

Keywords: malignant hyperthermia, volatile anesthetics, succinylcholine, in vitro contracture test, genetics

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