Malignant Hyperthermia (MH)
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→ Fever, muscle rigidity and respiratory distress triggered by anaesthetics or other stress.
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- MH causes skeletal muscles to degenerate, which is associated with low blood pH (acidemia).
- MH may worsen symptoms of PSSM (Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy).
- In 34% of cases, MH results in death of the affected horse. Therefore, horses should be tested, especially prior to surgery or medical treatment.
- Symptoms are not only triggered by anesthetics but also by stress and/or exercise.
- Hyperthermia (fever)
- Muscle rigidity
- Respiratory distress
- Excessive sweating
- Increased hematocrit
- Increased heart rate
Inheritance and Genotypes
→ MH is an autosomal dominant hereditary disease, meaning that horses with one or two copies of the genetic variant (n/MH or MH/MH) are affected.
|Genotype:||The horse is:||Effects:|
|n/n||normal.||The horse does not have any copies of the genetic variant causative for MH and therefore cannot pass it on to any offspring.|
||The genetic variant causative for MH will be passed on to its offspring with a probability of 50%. These foals will also be affected (n/MH).
|MH/MH||affected (homozygous).||The genetic variant causative for MH will be passed on to all offspring. All offspring will also be affected (n/MH).|
- Affected horses (n/MH or MH/MH) should not be used for breeding.
Aleman, M., Riehl, J., Aldridge, BM., LeCouteur, RA., Stott, JL., Pessah, IN.: Association of a mutation in the ryanodine receptor 1 gene with equine malignant hyperthermia. Muscle Nerve 30:356-65, 2004. Pubmed reference: 15318347. Doi: 10.1002/mus.20084.
Aleman, M., Nieto, JE., Magdesian, KG.: Malignant hyperthermia associated with ryanodine receptor 1 (C7360G) mutation in Quarter Horses. J Vet Intern Med 23:329-34, 2009. Pubmed reference: 19220734. Doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0274.x.
McCue, ME., Valberg, SJ., Jackson, M., Borgia, L., Lucio, M., Mickelson, JR.: Polysaccharide storage myopathy phenotype in quarter horse-related breeds is modified by the presence of an RYR1 mutation. Neuromuscul Disord 19:37-43, 2009. Pubmed reference: 19056269. Doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2008.10.001
Further information is available at Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals.