Malignant hyperthermia. A potentially fatal syndrome in orthopaedic patients.

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Malignant hyperthermia is an inherited muscular disorder and a cause of sudden death in afflicted patients. Stress arising from tramuma, surgery, and other causes can initiate the syndrome. We studied the types of orthopaedic problems commonly seen in patients with this condition as well as the clinical manifestations and pathophysiology of the syndrome. Recognition, management, and understanding of the pathophysiology of malignant hyperthermia can be aided by a study of its similarities to porcine stress syndrome. We performed experimental studies of muscle and prophylaxis in swine. We also demonstrated the extension of the prophylactic use of dantrolene sodium in a management protocol in eighty surgical procedures in humans.

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