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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1991 Mar 15;198(6):989-94.

Malignant hyperthermia in dogs.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 77030.


Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is an anesthetic agent-induced hypermetabolic state. Human beings and several other animal species, including dogs, have been described to be genetically predisposed to development of MH. The halothane-triggered MH syndrome was characterized in genetically predisposed dogs, and in vitro contracture sensitivity of biopsied gracilis muscle exposed to halothane and caffeine was quantitated. Within 1 hour of halothane administration, each MH-susceptible dog developed rapid increases in CO2 production and rectal temperature. Reversal of the hypermetabolic state was achieved when halothane was discontinued and dantrolene sodium was given i.v. Biopsied gracilis muscle from MH-susceptible dogs had abnormal in vitro contracture responses to halothane and caffeine. These findings were consistent with those observed for MH-susceptible human beings and pigs in which a loss in regulation of muscle cell Ca(+)+ is believed to be the primary etiologic event for induction of MH.

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