This study was designed to determine the extent by which mild or moderate hypothermia attenuates the triggering of malignant hyperthermia (MH) induced by the combined administration of halothane and succinylcholine. Sixteen susceptible swine were initially anesthetized with nontriggering drugs and then either kept normothermic (≃38°C, n = 6) or cooled to induce mild (≃35°C, n = 6), or moderate (≃33°C, n = 4) hypothermia. Next, after a 30- min control period, the normothermic and mildly hypothermic animals were administered 1 minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) halothane followed by a bolus dose of succinylcholine (2 mg/kg). Within 10 min all normothermic animals developed fulminant MH, whereas the onset of MH was slowed or was absent in the mildly hypothermic group. To test whether moderate hypothermia could more effectively minimize the signs of a MH episode, this group of animals was exposed to 1.5 MAC halothane followed 10 min later by a 3-mg/kg bolus of succinylcholine. MH was not induced and anesthesia was then changed to nontriggering drugs (ketamine and pancuronium). The animals were then aggressively rewarmed to 38°C: a slight increase in the ETCO2 was detected, but MH episodes did not spontaneously occur. Subsequently, the readministration of halothane and succinylcholine rapidly provoked fulminant MH. We concluded that the induction of mild hypothermia impairs triggering and reduces the progression of MH induced by the combined administration of halothane and succinylcholine, whereas moderate hypothermia was completely protective and thus could be considered for prophylaxis.