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Survey of Long-Term Sequelae in Survivors of a Malignant Hyperthermia Reaction

Werneid, K., & Brandom, B. (2016). Survey of Long-Term Sequelae in Survivors of a Malignant Hyperthermia Reaction. Open Journal of Anesthesiology, 06(01), 1–7. http://doi.org/10.4236/ojanes.2016.61001

When researching malignant hyperthermia, there is ample information on causes, signs, symptoms, treatments, etc. Until now, there have been no studies examining any long term sequelae associated with a confirmed MH episode.

The authors developed a thorough questionnaire to be filled out by patients who have suffered from an MH episode.  Patients who suffered an MH event, received a volatile anesthetic or succinylcholine and were either 1) confirmed as MH susceptible via laboratory testing or 2) a high Clinical Grading Score revealed very likely MH event though testing was not performed were approached to participate. Using the North America Malignant Hyperthermia Registry, 66 eligible patients were identified, and questionnaires were sent out. 23 responses were collected and the data was analyzed.

The questionnaire included information such as hospital stay after the MH event, relatives who may have had an event, symptoms they had prior to and after the event as well as presently, and whether or not they attribute any of the symptoms to the MH event.

The results of this study reveal that an anesthetic-induced MH event may have lasting morbidities.  There were some specific symptoms described by the study that patients attributed to their MH event. Those patients who suffer from anxiety and/or depression at the time of the questionnaire, 42% attribute it to their MH event.

Of those who confirm current muscle pain, 90% attribute it to the MH event.  100% of those with muscle weakness believe the cause was their MH event.  Only 36% attribute current back/joint pain to the MH event. The authors point out that this data suggests the muscle pain and weakness is not attributed to generalized aging since so many fewer blamed the MH event for their back/joint pain which likely is related to aging. This finding is supported by the fact that skeletal muscle can be injured during an MH event.

The first study of its kind reveals there may be lasting morbidities for those who suffer an MH event.

Brett Teodoro
[email protected]

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