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Rhabdomyolysis and anesthesia: a report of two cases and review of the literature.

Pediatric Neurology 1996 October
Rhabdomyolysis occurred in two apparently healthy boys aged 9.5 and 5.5 years after general anesthesia with suxamethonium. Mild hyperkalemia and renal failure were observed in the first patient, who was subsequently diagnosed with Becker dystrophy. In the second patient, the clinical presentation was not classic for malignant hyperthermia and a muscle biopsy failed to disclose any pathological finding. A review of the literature revealed 66 pediatric cases (56 boys and 10 girls) of anesthesia-associated rhabdomyolysis. Forty-nine (74%) cases were caused by an underlying, mostly unrecognized congenital muscle disease, and 14 (21%) cases were caused by malignant hyperthermia susceptibility. Hyperkalemia (23 patients), cardiac arrhythmias (38 patients), renal failure (4 patients), and death (11 patients) were the most serious complications of anesthesia-associated rhabdomyolysis. The neuromuscular blocking agent suxamethonium had been used in at least 43 of the patients reported in the literature.

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