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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 937479, 4 pages
Research Article

Effects of Theophylline on Anesthetized Malignant Hyperthermia-Susceptible Pigs

Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital Itzehoe, Robert-Koch-Straβe 2, 25524 Itzehoe, Germany

Received 12 May 2011; Accepted 23 August 2011

Academic Editor: Lars Larsson

Copyright © 2011 Marko Fiege et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Theophylline was shown to induce contracture development in porcine malignant hyperthermia (MH) susceptible (MHS) skeletal muscles in vitro. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the in vivo effects of theophylline in MHS and MH normal (MHN) swine. Methods. MH-trigger-free general anesthesia was performed in MHS and MHN swine. Theophylline was administered intravenously in cumulative doses up to 93.5 mg⋅kg-1. The clinical occurrence of MH was defined by changes of central-venous pCO2, central-venous pH, and body core temperature. Results. Theophylline induced comparable clinical alterations in the anesthetized MHS and MHN swine, especially in regard to hemodynamic data. No pig developed hypermetabolism and/or MH according to defined criteria. All animals died with tachycardia followed by ventricular fibrillation. Conclusions. The cumulative theophylline doses used in this study were much higher than doses used therapeutically in humans, as demonstrated by measured blood concentrations. Theophylline is thus not a trigger of MH in genetically determined swine.