Thermoregulation and markers of muscle breakdown in malignant hyperthermia susceptible volunteers during an acute heat tolerance test

Carol M. House, Michael J. Tipton, Philip M. Hopkins, Daniel Roiz De Sa

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Objectives - The study was undertaken to compare the thermal and biochemical responses to a heat tolerance test (HTT) of malignant hyperthermia (MH) susceptible individuals, volunteers who have suffered heat illness (HI) and control volunteers.

Methods - Three groups of male volunteers (n = 6 in each group) were recruited to the study: MHS — civilian volunteers previously diagnosed as MH susceptible; EHI — military volunteers with a history of exertional HI; CON — military volunteers with no history of HI or MH.For the HTT, volunteers walked on a treadmill at 60% maximal oxygen uptake in a hot environment. Measurements were made of core and skin temperatures, heat flow, whole body sweat rate and serum lactate, creatine kinase and myoglobin concentrations.

Results - There were no differences in deep body temperature, oxygen uptake or serum lactate and creatine kinase concentrations between the three groups. One MHS volunteer and two EHI volunteers failed to achieve thermal balance with rectal temperature continuing to rise throughout the test and reaching 39.5 °C, the rectal temperatures of the other volunteers plateaued at a mean (SD) of 38.7 (0.4)°C demonstrating thermal tolerance on this test. Serum myoglobin concentration and the increase in serum myoglobin was higher in MHS than EHI and CON Post HHT (P < 0.05).

Conclusion - MH susceptibility does not always predispose an individual to heat intolerance during an acute HTT, but does appear to increase muscle breakdown. The inclusion of serum myoglobin measurements to a HTT may help to distinguish patients that are potentially MHS, and who otherwise demonstrate thermal tolerance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-590
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number5
Early online date23 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


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