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 MuscleBiopsy and IVCT at the RMH

This involves admission to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for a day (you should not need to stay overnight).
The procedure is usually performed under a non-triggering general anaesthetic, although an alternative is a nerve block without a general anaesthetic. A cut is made in the outer thigh area and a piece of muscle removed about the half the size of ones index finger. The muscle itransported by our medical scientist to the laboratory where it is tested for susceptibility to Malignant Hyperthermia.

The amount of muscle removed should not affect the function of that muscle. The scar is about 5 c.m. long and heals as a thin line without stitch marks. Crutches may be required for the first day or so after the procedure.
The potential surgical risks include bleeding, infection, numbness and pain at the surgical site. The anaesthetic risks are low when the MH triggering drugs are avoided. Risks include rare allergic reactions to local anaesthesia. There  may be some weakness in the leg until the anaesthetic wears off (within 12 hours) if the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic nerve block.

 For referrals contact:

Dr Brad Hockey MB BS FANZCA
Phone: +61 3 9342 7540 or through switchboard +61 3 9342 7000
Fax: +61 3 9342 8623


Genetic Testing at the RMH

If a family member has had a positive IVCT, they may be eligible to have their DNA analysed (by a blood test) to look for changes in the DNA that are known to be responsible for MH. Once a change (defect) has been identified in a family member, any other members of that family can be tested for that specific defect. If they have the defect they can then know that they are susceptible to MH. If they do not have the defect they will still require the muscle biopsy and IVCT to determine their MH status. This is because there are some families who have more than one DNA defect causing MH

For genetic testing enquiries contact: 

Dr Robyn Gillies MB BS FANZCA 
Phone: +61 3 9342 7540 or through switchboard +61 3 9342 7000
Fax: +61 3 9342 8623

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