We describe 49 neurologically asymptomatic patients with persistently increased serum creatine kinase (CK) levels (idiopathic hyperCKemia or IHCK) who were referred to our institution for diagnostic muscle biopsy, including malignant hyperthermia (MH) susceptibility testing between 1979 and 1993. Muscle biopsy samples of the vastus lateralis were obtained for histologic analysis and MH contracture testing with halothane and caffeine. From 1979 to November 1987, patients were tested for MH in accordance with a standardized institutional protocol. After November 1987, contracture testing was performed according to the recently adopted North American MH Group protocol. In both protocols, a patient was considered to be MH susceptible (MHS) if one or more muscle strip demonstrated an abnormal contracture response after exposure to 3% halothane, 2% halothane, or caffeine alone. Twenty-four of the 49 IHCK patients (49%) had positive contracture tests. No significant correlation was found between the magnitude of CK increase and the incidence of MHS or histologic abnormalities. Unexplained persistently increased CK levels in an otherwise healthy patient should alert the anesthesiologist to the possibility of MHS and/or myopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine