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.