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Malignant hyperthermia is a rare, inherited (genetic) disorder that
is potentially fatal. It can be triggered by exposure to certain anesthetics or muscle
The disorder is caused by a reaction in muscle that leads to activation of the muscles. This causes a very high body temperature and the breakdown of muscle tissue.
Anesthesia specialists can usually detect malignant hyperthermia early and treat it immediately. If it happens, malignant hyperthermia typically occurs during anesthesia or
shortly after the surgery.
You may have an increased chance of getting malignant hyperthermia if:
You can have a test to help find out if you have an increased chance of getting this disorder.
If a person who is at possible risk of malignant hyperthermia needs
anesthesia, the condition can be safely and completely avoided by choosing
anesthetics that do not trigger malignant hyperthermia.
You can get more information about malignant hyperthermia from
the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS). Go to the website at www.mhaus.org.
Current as of:
September 4, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
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