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Anaesth Intensive Care. 2011 Sep;39(5):887-94.

Safety of exposure of malignant hyperthermia non-susceptible patients and their relatives to anaesthetic triggering agents.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Palmerston North Hospital, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


As the reliability of malignant hyperthermia normal in vitro contracture test results has been questioned, this study set out to determine the reliability of malignant hyperthermia normal results in New Zealand. Three hundred and twenty-nine anaesthetics were administered to malignant hyperthermia normal patients, identified through the Palmerston North Hospital malignant hyperthermia database. Anaesthetic records were retrieved and scrutinised for a malignant hyperthermia reaction using the Malignant Hyperthermia Clinical Grading Scale. Patients were exposed to one or more of eight triggering agents and multiple anaesthetic agents were administered in 41% of cases. Six variables were analysed, and although a minority of variables were abnormal in a small number of patients, none of the findings supported a malignant hyperthermia reaction. While the analysis was limited by the adequacy of the anaesthesia records, it was supported by negative DNA analysis in 55% of patients. This study supports several previous studies in demonstrating that patients in New Zealand tested non-susceptible to malignant hyperthermia can safely be given triggering agents.

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