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August 1, 1980

Malignant Hyperthermia

Author Affiliations

University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha

JAMA. 1980;244(5):436. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310050014008

To the Editor.—  The inherited muscle disorder known as malignant hyperthermia should be renamed, as this term is confusing and relates to only one manifestation of the syndrome.Elemér K. Zsigmond, MD (243:513, 1980), suggested "acute familial peranesthetic rhabdomyolysis." This tends to be slightly cumbersome and restricts definition to peranesthetic manifestation.Our studies of this syndrome suggested that the symptoms arise from many types of stress other than anesthesia.1,2 Included are intolerance to heat and exercise, emotional stress, trauma, and cramping (transport related problems similar to porcine stress syndrome).3,4Since this disease appears to be related to stress, including that caused by anesthesia, it might be more appropriate and descriptive to refer to it simply as "human stress syndrome."This is less cumbersome and easy to remember and encompasses the more important aspect of the disease—stress of many kinds, including anesthesia as an exciting factor.