CASE 18
A 27-year-old male presented to the emergency department with the signs and
symptoms of acute appendicitis. He was promptly sent to the operating room
for an emergency appendectomy. The patient was prepped and draped for the
surgery, and halothane was given as an inhalation anesthetic. Two minutes
after the anesthetic was given, the patient was noted to have an extremely ele-
vated temperature, muscle rigidity, and tachypnea. An arterial blood gases test
revealed a metabolic acidosis, and the serum electrolytes demonstrated hyper-
kalemia. A nurse quickly went to talk to the family about the events, and the
family mentioned that the only other person to have surgery in their family had
a similar reaction and died. The physician makes a diagnosis of malignant
hyperthermia (MH).
What is the biochemical basis of this disease?
What is the best treatment for this condition?
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