Malignant Hyperthermia: A Killer If Ignored (2.0 CH – DC)

Author: Xin Bin, DDS, PhD, Baisheng Wang, DDS, PhD, Zhangui Tang, DDS, PhD
Malignant hypothermia (MH) is a potentially fatal hypermetabolic reaction of skeletal muscle. It is an autosomal dominant disorder that generally occurs in people with RYR1, CACNA1S, or STAC3 mutations. And these genetic abnormalities often cause the imperfection of calcium release channels of skeletal muscle. The incidence of MH among different racial groups across the world ranges from approximately 1:5,000-1:250,000, but there is no national statistic MH incidence in China. It is not clear whether there are racial or regional differences in the incidence, but patients under 18 years old may be more affected. MH can be triggered by anesthetics, or other stimuli, such as strenuous exercise, heat-stroke, and emotional stress. While viral infection, statins, hyperglycemia, and muscle metabolic dysfunctions might accelerate the onset of MH. The onset of MH is insidious and rapid, with the preclinical stage characterized by rigidity of the masseter muscle, a high level of end-tidal carbon dioxide, and a sharp and persistent increase in body temperature. Medical history, family history, clinical presentation, in vitro caffeine-halothane contracture testing (IVCT/CHCT) and genetic testing are commonly diagnostic methods of MH. As soon as the onset of MH is suspected, immediate cessation of exposure to stimuli, call for professional support, and access to dantrolene are the highest priorities. For symptomatic treatment, “5C principles” were summarized as an algorithm to guide clinicians.

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