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What is malignant hyperthermia (MH)?
MH is a neuromuscular disorder that occurs following exposure to certain precipitants such as anesthetic agents. The reported incidence varies between 1:12,000 and 1:40,000. It is most common in children and young adults. After exposure to triggering agents, skeletal muscle metab-olism increases dramatically. Skeletal muscle rigidity, meta-bolic and respiratory acidosis, tachycardia, hypoxemia, and hyperthermia follow. A full-blown episode may result in cardiac arrest unless promptly treated. A similar syndrome in susceptible swine may be initiated by stress, providing an animal model for MH.
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