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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A multicenter study of 4-chloro-m-cresol for diagnosing malignant hyperthermia susceptibility.

Standardization of the in vitro contracture test (IVCT) for malignant hyperthermia (MH) susceptibility has resulted in very rare false negative tests. However, false positive results stigmatizing the patient seem to be more frequent than false negative results and make supplementary tests desirable. This multicenter approach studied the usefulness of an IVCT with 4-chloro-m-cresol (4-CmC), a ryanodine receptor-specific agonist for a better definition of MH susceptibility. Diagnosis made by the standard IVCT was compared with the results of this 4-CmC test on muscle specimens of 202 individuals from 6 European MH centers. In the 4-CmC test, the results of the MH susceptible group differed significantly from both the MH normal and the MH equivocal group. 4-CmC revealed a qualitatively dose response-curve similar to caffeine. A correlation index of r = 0.79 for the concentration thresholds underlined the strong concordance of the caffeine and the 4-CmC effects. The optimal threshold concentration was determined to be 75 microM in the pooled data of all centers and is much lower than that of caffeine (2 mM), suggesting a more than 25-fold higher affinity of 4-CmC. The predictive value of 4-CmC is as high as that of caffeine and consequently higher than that of halothane. 4-CmC seems to be a suitable drug to refine diagnosis of MH susceptibility and could be used as an additional test substance. IMPLICATIONS: Although in vitro contracture testing for malignant hyperthermia diagnosis is well standardized, with a relatively high sensitivity and specificity, false test results cannot be excluded and may be associated with serious disabilities for the concerned individuals. In this multicenter study, 4-chloro-m-cresol was evaluated as a new test substance for the in vitro contracture testing. Its use improves the accuracy of in vitro diagnosis of malignant hyperthermia susceptibility.[1]


  1. A multicenter study of 4-chloro-m-cresol for diagnosing malignant hyperthermia susceptibility. Baur, C.P., Bellon, L., Felleiter, P., Fiege, M., Fricker, R., Glahn, K., Heffron, J.J., Herrmann-Frank, A., Jurkat-Rott, K., Klingler, W., Lehane, M., Ording, H., Tegazzin, V., Wappler, F., Georgieff, M., Lehmann-Horn, F. Anesth. Analg. (2000) [Pubmed]
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