The intra-operative differential diagnosis between thyroid crisis and malignant hyperthermia can be difficult. Also stress alone can trigger MH. The purposes of this study were: 1) to investigate the metabolic and hemodynamic differences between thyroid crisis and MH, 2) determine how thyroid crisis affects the development of MH, and 3) determine if the stress of thyroid crisis can trigger MH in susceptible individuals. We studied MH susceptible and normal swine. Two groups of animals (MH susceptible and normal) were induced into thyroid crisis (critical core hyperthermia, sustained tachycardia and increase in oxygen consumption) by pretreatment with intraperitoneal triiodothyronine (T3) followed by large hourly intravenous injections of T3. Two similar groups were given intravenous T3 but no pretreatment. These animals did not develop thyroid crisis and served as controls. Thyroid crisis did not result in metabolic changes or rigidity characteristic of an acute episode of MH. When the animals were subsequently challenged with MH triggering agents (halothane plus succinylcholine) dramatic manifestations of fulminant MH episodes (acute serious elevation in exhaled carbon dioxide, arterial CO2, rigidity and acidemia) were noted only in the MH susceptible animals. Although thyroid crisis did not trigger MH in the susceptible animals it did decrease the time to trigger MH (14.1 ± 7.2 minutes versus 47.2 ± 17.7 minutes, p< 0.01) in susceptible animals. Hormone induced elevations in temperature and possibly other unidentified factors during thyroid crisis may facilitate the triggering of MH following halothane and succinylcholine challenge.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Department Of Anesthesiology research funds, University of Minnesota. Address correspondence and request for reprints to: Dr. K.G. Belani, M.D., Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Minnesota; Box: 294,