Slower recovery of muscle phosphocreatine in malignant hyperthermia-susceptible individuals assessed by 31P-MR spectroscopy

K Monsieurs, L Heytens, C Kloeck, J J Martin, F Wuyts, L Bossaert
Journal of Neurology 1997, 244 (10): 651-6
Our aim was to develop an exercise protocol using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS), which can discriminate between malignant hyperthermia-susceptible (MHS) individuals and controls. MRS spectra of the forearm muscles were recorded at rest, during and after a standardized exercise protocol in 10 MHS patients and compared with spectra obtained in 10 controls. There was no difference in resting intracellular pH (pHi) or PCr/(Pi+PCr) ratio between the groups (PCr = phosphocreatine, Pi = inorganic phosphorus). At the end of the exercise and during the initial recovery phase, the pHi and PCr/(Pi+PCr) ratio were significantly lower in the MHS group ([pHi: 6.37 (0.07) for MHS vs 6.70 (0.05) for controls, P < 0.005; PCr/(Pi+PCr): 0.784 (0.017) for MHS vs 0.954 (0.020) for controls, P < 0.0005]). For PCr/(Pi+PCr), complete separation between the two groups was observed during the initial recovery phase. The mean recovery time of PCr/(Pi+PCr) was 0.57 min for the control group and 1.28 min for the MHS group. The slower recovery of PCr/(Pi+PCr) is likely to be caused by a combination of several factors, including the lower pHi in MHS subjects at the start of recovery (inhibiting ATP production) and excessive sarcoplasmic calcium overload (causing continued enzyme activation and ATP consumption). Our exercise protocol can be a valuable adjunct to discriminate between MHS and non susceptible subjects.

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