Chronic myopathy in a patient suspected of carrying two malignant hyperthermia susceptibility (MHS) mutations

Thomas Deufel, Wolfgang Müller-Felber, Dieter E. Pongratz, Gerhard Hübner, Keith Johnson, Paul A. Iaizzo, Frank Lehmann-Horn

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Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a pharmacogenetic myopathy triggered by a variety of anaesthetic agents and muscle relaxants. In humans, susceptibility to MH is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, and susceptible patients do not show a clinically relevant myopathy unless having suffered from a MH crisis. Homozygosity for the MHS trait is thought to be an uncommon finding, and so far only a few cases of patients suggested to be homozygous for MH on the basis of pedigree information were reported and described as having a more severe form of this condition resulting in clinical symptoms also in the absence of triggering agents. We report clinical findings in a patient with chronic myopathy beginning at the age of 2 yr and associated with a number of unique features, the most important being a family history of MHS present in both parents. She became symptomatic with marked muscular weakness and elevated serum CK levels. A muscle biopsy showed a distinct enlargement and increase of muscle mitochondria. In the in vitro contracture test the patient's muscle responded with unusually high contractures already at basal levels of triggering agents indicating a particularly severe MHS condition. DNA markers for the MHSl locus, described previously on chromosome 19q12-13.2 in Irish and Canadian pedigrees, could not be used to confirm her homozygous state because our molecular genetic studies had previously excluded the MHS trait in this pedigree from this locus. On the basis of clinical findings, results of the in vitro contracture test, and pedigree information presented, we put forth the hypothesis that the myopathy seen in the patient may represent a new clinical entity caused by her carrying two MHS mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1992


  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • in vitro contracture test
  • mitochondria
  • muscle disorders
  • myopathy


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