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

Fatal malignant hyperthermia--delayed onset and atypical course.

A case of malignant hyperthermia (mh) in a 27-year-old man is described. In a first anaesthesia using isoflurane and succinylcholine, the end-tidal CO(2) rose from 39 to 49 mmHg 2.75 h post-intubation and the body temperature rose to 39.8 degrees C 14 h post-intubation but was normal again the next day. In a second anaesthesia using the same medication, the maximal end-tidal CO(2) was 44 mmHg and the body temperature rose to 39 degrees C after 9 h. After 4 days, the fever rose to 40 degrees C, and to 42 degrees C when death occurred 10 days after the second anaesthesia. Masseter spasms or muscle rigidity were never present. According to the death certificate, death was due to multi-organ failure from sepsis. At autopsy, the skeletal muscles were pale and oedematous. Histology demonstrated focal necroses in the skeletal muscles, shock kidneys with myoglobin excretion and myoglobin clots in small blood vessels of the lungs. Hence, the postmortem diagnosis "malignant hyperthermia" was established but accusations of medical maltreatment were rejected because of the atypical and protracted clinical course and because uncharacteristic signs of malignant hyperthermia were attributable to the clinically suspected sepsis.[1]


  1. Fatal malignant hyperthermia--delayed onset and atypical course. Karger, B., Teige, K. Forensic Sci. Int. (2002) [Pubmed]
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