Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is triggered by many anesthetics. This study investigates the epidemiology of MH, its association with various drugs, and mortality rates. Five hundred three cases of MH were reported. MH patients were demographically similar worldwide. Pediatric (52.1%, age <15 yr) and male (65.8%) MH patients exceed the general surgical population. Congenital defects and musculoskeletal surgical procedures were associated clearly with MH. Previous uneventful anesthesia (20.9%) and absence of positive family history (75.9%) were common. Case fatality rates have decreased with time to 10% since 1985. This decline is partly and independently due to dantrolene therapy, as well as to better vigilance and awareness on the part of the anesthetic community.
(Anesth Analg 1993;77:297-304)
Accepted for publication April 6, 1993.
© 1993 International Anesthesia Research Society