Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just a teeny bit nervous

The Caffeine Halothane Contracture Test (CHCT), a test performed on freshly biopsied muscle, is the “gold standard” for diagnosis of MH. It can be performed only in roughly 30 centers worldwide, eight of which are located in the United States and Canada. The patient must travel to one of these sites for the test because the test must be completed within hours after muscle is removed.

Following administration of a non-triggering anesthetic, the CHCT will require the removal of approximately two grams of muscle (less than one-tenth of an ounce, about the size of a dime), through a two- to three-inch incision usually from the thigh. The force response of the muscle after exposure to caffeine and separately to halothane in the laboratory is characterized and recorded electronically. Comparison of the strength of contracture (sustained muscle tension) with previously established standards allows determination of MH susceptibility. Muscle from MH susceptibles (MHS) is more sensitive and elicits contractures at lower levels to the administered trigger agents.

This is the other thing we're going to North Carolina to do.

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