A noninvasive method to diagnose malignant hyperthermia (MH) was sought. To this end, in vivo isometric twitch properties of the ankle dorsi‐flexor muscles were studied in three groups: (1) MH‐susceptible patients (n = 12), (2) relatives (n = 12) of MH‐susceptible patients who were judged to be MH resistant, and (3) a group of normal volunteers (n = 42) chosen from the community. Twitch properties were studied under resting state conditions and with 1 or 2 Hz stimulation to produce the negative staircase twitch response. There was a high degree of overlap between the ranges of the measured twitch parameters of all groups. Thus, the techniques presented in this study have no value in diagnosing susceptibility to MH. Several physiological features of human isometric twitch properties were demonstrated: (1) slowing of twitch speed with advancing age, (2) strong positive correlation between body weight and twitch torque, and (3) a negative staircase response typical of that described in other mammalian twitch studies.
- excitation contraction coupling
- malignant hyperthermia
- skeletal muscle