Anaesthesia and the paediatric muscle disorders


  • Rebecca M Gray Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital


paediatric muscle disorders, myaesthenic syndromes, myotonias, dystrophies, mitochondrial myopathies


Paediatric muscle disorders have significant implications for anaesthetists. Their effects extend beyond skeletal muscle and manifestations in other organ systems are frequently seen; in addition, adverse reactions to anaesthetic drugs may result in fatality if unrecognised or inadequately treated. In the past, it was thought that muscular dystrophies and myopathies put a patient at increased risk of malignant hyperthermia, however, the link between these conditions has largely been dismissed and other anaesthetic catastrophes, such as anaesthesia-induced rhabdomyolysis, are now recognised. Undiagnosed muscle disorders put children at risk of experiencing adverse reactions to anaesthesia. A high index of suspicion should be exercised during preoperative review to facilitate anaesthetic choices and guide intraoperative management.

Author Biography

Rebecca M Gray, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

MBChB(UCT), DA(SA), FCA(SA) Specialist Anaesthetist Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital






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