Malignant hyperthermia: Effects of halothane on the surface membrane

Paul A. Iaizzo, Frank Lehmamn‐Horn, Stuart R. Taylor, Esther M. Gallant

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20 Scopus citations


We studied the electrical properties of intact muscle fibers from normal and malignant hyperthemia‐susceptible (MHS) pigs. Resting membrane potentials, action potentials, and current‐voltage relationships were measured with without the presence of halothane. There were no changes in the resting potentials or the specific membrane conductances at any concentration of halothane in either the normal or MHS fibers. The current‐voltage relationships of normal and MHS fibers did not differ. Contractures were observed in MHS muscle when the concentration of halothane was ≥0.8%. These halothane‐induced contractures were not associated with depolarization of the surface membrane. Contractures were not observed in normal muscle even at concentrations of 6.0% halothane. In contrast, halothane altered the shape of the action potentials of both MHS and normal fibers. However these changes were significantly greater in MHS fibers, occurred at much lower concentrations, and were partially prevented by preincubation in 10 μM dantrolene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • action potentials
  • contracture
  • dantrolene
  • halothane
  • malignant hyperthermia
  • resting potentials


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