Neuromuscular Disorders and Malignant Hyperthermia

  • Frank Lehmann-Horn
Conference paper


With numerous neuromuscular disorders the use of volatile anesthetics or depolarizing muscle relaxants is associated with complications mimicking an episode of malignant hyperthermia (MH). These events may resemble the early symptoms of MH to a degree that MH-specific treatment is initiated before the real signs of MR occur. Yet, most of these complications are clinically and pathogenetically different from a true MH crisis. True MH crises are seen (a) in MH-susceptible individuals, (b) in patients with central core disease, and probably (c) in patients with King-Denborough syndrome. Crises similar but clinically and pathogenetically different from MH include: (a) the myotonic reaction which, in contrast to MH, can be induced or aggravated by depolarizing relaxants in the absence of volatile anesthetics, as seen for instance in myotonia congenita, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, paramyotonia congenita, myotonia fluctuans and permanens, and in myotonic dystrophy; (b) rhabdomyolysis induced by suxamethonium and followed by elevation of extracellular potassium in hypokalemic periodic paralysis; and (c) myolysis of skeletal or cardiac muscle induced by suxamethonium and perhaps volatile anesthetics in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. This report suggests that different anesthetics and therapeutical drugs should be employed in patients with these myopathies.


Volatile Anesthetic Malignant Hyperthermia Myotonic Dystrophy Malignant Hyperthermia Noonan Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Lehmann-Horn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied PhysiologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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